Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Watteau to Degas: French Drawings at the Frick Museum

Jean-Honore Fragonard  Le Calendrier des vieillards, c. 1780
Pen and brown ink, brown wash, over black chalk underdrawing
Frits Lugt Collection

Sometimes I wonder if I might have previously lived in 18th Century France because my fascination for that time period seems to know no bounds. Although I have a deep appreciation of contemporary art, my heart still skips a beat when I stand in front of artwork by the masters of the 18th century like Boucher and Fragonard.  And while the exhibition of drawings from the Frits Lugt Collection currently on at the Frick Museum in New York is not confined to artists from the 18th century, it was those images that made me swoon. The skill with which Fragonard and Boucher exhibit in these small drawings is extraordinary. A few simple lines can express so much life! And while it may appear on the surface just to be a pretty picture, a closer look often reveals the beginning of a narrative (something that I'm trying to incorporate into my own work). This show of exquisite drawings also includes works by Watteau, Degas, Morisot, and Ingres among others continues through to January 10, 2010.

Frick Museum
1 East 70th Street, New York