This sumptuously illustrated catalogue charts the history of drawing in Italy from 1400, just prior to the emergence in Florence of the classically inspired naturalism of the Renaissance style, to around 1510 when Michelangelo, Raphael and Titian were on the verge of taking the innovations of earlier masters, such as Leonardo and Pollaiuolo, in a new direction. It brings together just over one hundred of the most remarkable drawings from the collections of the Uffizi in Florence and the British Museum in London, the majority of which have never been seen together before.
The book highlights the key role played by drawing in artistic teaching and in how artists studied the human body and the natural world. Aspects of regional difference, the development of new drawing techniques and classes of graphic work, such as finished presentation pieces to impress patrons, are also explored. An extended introduction focusing on how and why artists made drawings, with a special emphasis on the pivotal role of Leonardo, is richly illustrated with examples from the two collections that elucidate the technique and function of the works.
This is followed by catalogue entries for just over 100 drawings where discussion of their function and significance is supported by comparative illustrations of related works, such as paintings.