Five Centuries of Drawing: A Selection from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection

Jean-Joseph Bernard, called Bernard de Paris, French, 1740–1809
Portrait of a Young Woman in Profile, 1785
Pen and ink with watercolor on paper
Fine Arts Gallery Acquisition
1991.023

(June 3–September 23, 2010)

Drawing has long played a central role in the practice of visual artists. While in some cases the act of drawing served as a means to solidify an artist’s ideas in preparation for paintings, sculpture, and other works of art, drawings were in many instances distinct, independent artistic statements.

Five Centuries of Drawing explores both aspects of the medium in more than fifty drawings by a wide range of European and North American artists. Beginning with late-Renaissance works by Giacomo Cavedone, Alessandro Turchi (called Orbetto), and Giovanni Guerra, the exhibition also features drawings—many on exhibit for the first time—by Jean-Joseph Bernard, Eugene Biel-Bienne, Isabel Bishop, Jan de Bisschop, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, David Burliuk, Jacques-Philippe Caresme, Cécile Chennevère, Gloria De Arcangelis, Chaim Gross, Benjamin Haydon, Augustus John, Wolf Kahn, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Hans Laabs, David Levine, Martin Lewis, George Luks, Jean-Baptiste Mallet, Creighton Michael, John Opie, Giuseppe Raffetto, Antonio Mari Ribas, George Romney, Charles Shannon, Abbott Thayer, Jacques de Tonnancour, Feliks Topolski, Paul Weber, Susan Wilkes, and Meyer Wolfe.

The Eskind Biomedical Library supplemented this exhibition through the loan of two medical illustrations from their collections by Susan Wilkes.

Five Centuries of Drawing was organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, director.