Fra Bartolommeo

pen and ink drawing of landscape with small human figures in middle ground

Fra Bartolommeo (1472–1517)
The Sweep of a River with Fishermen and a Town in the Background
c. 1505–9
Pen and brown ink
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

Fra Bartolommeo is one of the earliest Italian artists to have left a large group of landscape drawings, many of which were composed in preparation for his paintings. This view of Florence from the nearby Tuscan hills features small figures on the embankment of a river that leads toward the city and its prominent cathedral dome. The minimal, light pen strokes suggest that the artist created the work quickly, possibly at the location itself.

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