Friday, December 8, 2017

Selected Drawings - 1520s to 1920s

follower of Michelangelo
Figures at top - Venus and Cupid
Figure at bottom - Statue of Night from the Medici Chapel
ca. 1520-30
drawing
British Museum

Stradanus
Sketches for Miracles of St Apollonius
ca. 1590
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Stradanus
Design for Title-page - Vermis Sericus [Introduction of the Silkworm]
ca. 1590
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous Dutch artist
Nude man falling backwards
ca. 1600-1700
drawing
British Museum

Old Man 

"Orestes
was driving in last place,
lying back on his mares. 
He had put his faith in the finish. 
But as soon as he sees
the Athenian driver alone on the track

he lets out a cry that shivers his horses' ears
and goes after him.  
Neck and neck 
they are racing,
first one, then
the other
nosing ahead,
easing ahead.

Now our unlucky boy had stood every course so far,
sailing right on in his upright car,
but at this point he lets the left rein go slack
with the horses turning,
he doesn't notice,
hits the pillar and
smashes the axle box in two.

Out he flips
over the chariot rail,
reins snarled around him
and as he falls
the horse scatter midcourse.
They see him down. A gasp goes through the crowd:
"Not the boy!"
To go for glory, and end like this 
pounded against the ground,
legs beating the sky 
the other drivers could hardly manage
to stop his team and cut him loose.
Blood everywhere.
He was unrecognizable. Sickening.
They burned him at once on a pyre
and certain Phocians are bringing 
the might body back 
just ashes,
a little bronze urn 
so you can bury him in his father's ground.
That is my story.
So far as words go,
gruesome enough.
But for those who watched it,
and we did watch it,
the ugliest evil I ever saw."

 from the Electra of Sophocles, translated by Anne Carson (The Greek Tragedy in New Translations, Oxford University Press, 2001)  viewers of the play understand that the Old Man's account is completely fictitious, that Orestes is alive and plotting nearby to slay his mother in revenge for her murder of his father

Jacques Sarazin
Study for statue of Autumn
for Ch√Ęteau de Wideville

after 1632
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous European artist
Textile Factory
ca. 1720-50
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous Italian artist
Odysseus and Diomedes stealing the Palladium
ca. 1775-1800
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Richard de Lalonde
Design for Mirror-frame with monogram of Marie Antoinette
ca. 1787-90
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Giovanni Barberi
Design for Inkstand
ca. 1810
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Felice Giani
Son of Marcus Cato brings a dagger to his father
ca. 1820
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Felice Giani
Apelles painting Campaspe, watched by Alexander the Great
before 1823
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

John Flaxman
Illustration to Paradise Lost - Adam and Eve guarded by Angels
before 1826
drawing
Yale Center for British Art

Constantin Guys
At the Theater
ca. 1873
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Howard Russell Butler
Seated Young Moor
1887
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Anonymous architectural draftsman
San Francisco City Hall - Dome and Lantern
ca. 1913-16
photostat of working drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Hugh Ferriss
Study for Maximum Mass permitted by 1916 New York Zoning Law
1922
drawing
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum