Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Fra Bartolommeo

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has the world’s largest collection of drawings by Fra Bartolommeo (1473-1517), comprising 500 sheets from two famous albums owned by Florentine collector Niccolò Gabburri (1729). A selection of 125 of these will be shown together with twenty drawings from museum collections abroad. They are studies for ten religious paintings that will be shown in the Netherlands for the first time, loaned by museums, cathedrals and private collections in Italy, France and the United States. The paintings range from a small diptych for private devotion from the Uffizi in Florence to a monumental 4-metre-high altarpiece from Lucca. Together the drawings and paintings give a unique insight into the creative process of one of the master painters of the Renaissance. Fra Bartolommeo (Brother Bartholomew, the religious name of Baccio della Porta) entered the Dominican brotherhood halfway through his career. Like Fra Angelico a century earlier, he worked in the famous convent of San Marco in Florence, where he painted exclusively religious subjects including large altarpieces. Fra Bartolommeo is relatively unknown in the Netherlands yet alongside Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo, he was one of the four most illustrious artists of the Italian High Renaissance. All four worked in Florence in the years 1500-1508. Fra Bartolommeo drew two portraits of Michelangelo and was a friend of the young Raphael. In his famous book ‘Lives of the Most Eminent Painters’ (1550), the great Florentine artist, collector and biographer Giorgio Vasari praised Fra Bartolommeo for the quality of his paintings and his manner of working: from drawing to painting. Read more @ nytimes

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