This trans-historical exhibition of drawings is devoted to the subject of the artist at work. Drawn principally from a very fine specialist private collection, this display will focus on depictions of artists' studios, symbolic, actual and religious as well as depictions of self or others at work. Art historians have interpreted these themes variously as the means of elevating the social and economic status of artists; of illustrating the marriage of intellectual knowledge and practical skill proposed by academic theorists, or as sophisticated allegories of the philosophical significance of visual art. Even at the most pragmatic level of recording the clutter of the everyday studio, drawing human models or antique casts in an academy, or small figures sketching in landscape, works with these subjects are imbued with layers of meaning. This focused exhibition, spanning from the 16th to the 20th centuries, proposes to explore this rich subject matter through a carefully selected group of graphic works.
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