Greuze the Draftsman, May 14 through August 4, 2002
This touring exhibition is the first devoted exclusively to the drawings of Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), the remarkable French eighteenth-century painter and draftsman. Indeed, while countless exhibitions have presented the works of other great French artists such as Watteau, Boucher, and Fragonard, Greuze has been accorded only one comprehensive show of any sort since his death in 1805. Nonetheless, his work has enthralled connoisseurs during and since his lifetime. While most of his paintings have long ago entered public collections, his drawings are actively sought today by collectors both public and private. Curated by Edgar Munhall, this long-awaited and unprecedented exhibition brings together at each of its two venues approximately seventy works on paper culled from international collections such as The State HermitageMuseum, St. Petersburg; Musée du Louvre, Paris; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Dijon; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon; Amsterdam’s Historisch Museum; the Albertina, Vienna; the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; The Art Institute of Chicago; and others (a total of ninety-five works on paper are on loan and featured in the catalogue, with some drawings on view at only one venue, but an equal number presented both in New York and Los Angeles). The works were chosen to demonstrate the full range of Greuze’s graphic oeuvre in pen and ink, brush with tinted washes and watercolor, and colored chalks and pastels. Included are preparatory studies for his major paintings as well as independent drawings executed for discriminating connoisseurs.