Group exhibition Ink celebrates art of drawing
Includes works by Rembrandt, Tiepolo, Guercino, Poussin, Goltzius and Alexander Runciman
This powerful exhibition showcases a variety of works from a diverse collection of artists including Rembrandt, Rubens, Piranesi and William Henry Playfair. From fast, energetic sketches depicting movement and form, to the meticulous draughtsmanship of architectural drawings, Ink demonstrates the understated beauty and versatility of a medium that has been used for centuries but is still relevant today.
Dating from the 1420s, Gentile da Fabriano’s rarely displayed Christ and St Peter is one of the oldest drawings in the National Galleries’ permanent collection, the figures finely and precisely rendered on vellum, a surface made from calf or goat skin. This delicate work sits alongside designs for engravings, scientific studies, portraits, landscapes and some truly dramatic and vibrant works – the economic pen and brush marks in Rembrandt’s Christ on the Road to Emmaus suggesting both speed and energy.
A real delight is Piranesi’s Interior of a Prison, one of few surviving drawings relating to the etchings of the artist’s Carceri d’Invenzione (Imaginary Prisons) series. The use of wash depicts the darkness and austerity of the interior in a very different way from the ink in the more familiar etchings, but is just as effective, demonstrating clearly the range of this beautiful medium.
National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, until Sun 9 Jun