Heavenly Bodies: Figure Drawing Through the Ages

Jacob Jordaens, 'The Pieta', (modello for the Hamburg Kunsthalle oil, c. 1650)

Heavenly bodies: Figure drawing through the ages.
17th September - 14th December 2003

Print Gallery

This exhibition explored the importance of figure drawing in art and consisted of 34 drawings from the National Gallery’s collection of works on paper.  In addition, 4 drawings by contemporary artists illustrated how the body has remained a central subject in art. 

The exhibition comprised three sections:  The Academy - traditionally an in-depth knowledge of the anatomy and form of the human body was deemed vital for artists.  Art school life drawings and studies for narrative and genre paintings were included here;  Old Master Drawings - Italian, French and Dutch artists were represented including, Ludovico Carracci, Watteau and Jacob Jordaens.  Sketches of the figure, both clothed and unclothed, in charcoal, pen and ink and red chalk were shown; The Figure in Modern Art - Drawings by European and Irish artists such as Degas, Picasso and William Orpen depicting the figure in a variety of guises were also included.

Exhibition Brochure:
Heavenly Bodies-Figure Drawing Through the Ages
© 2003 National Gallery of Ireland
Editor Anne Hodge