Autonomy of Expression

When not tethered to the preparatory process for altarpieces or palatial decorations, Italian artists made drawings as a distraction, often taking inspiration from literary or historical sources. Increasingly, the worlds of nature and everyday life became the focus of the artist’s imagination, as highlighted in Guercino’s remarkable caricatures. The growing status of drawing as an autonomous and collectible work of art is evident in several examples, including the highly finished pair of devotional images by Bartolomeo Passarotti, made as a gift or on commission.

Next section - A Closer Look: Three Masters of Disegno

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  • 18852
    Bazzicaluva (Ercole Frigoni), Italian, ca. 1610 - 1661
    View of Pesaro
    x1993-97
  • 41973
    attributed to Giulio Benso, Italian, 1592 - 1668
    Two Men Playing Racket Game in an Interior
    2003-149
  • 43017
    Andrea Boscoli, Italian, 1550–1607
    Two Cattle, late 1580s
    2006-48
  • 5893
    Domenico Campagnola, Italian, ca. 1500–1564
    Allegorical Scene, ca. 1520
    x1946-81
  • 9641
    Remigio Cantagallina, Italian, ca. 1582–1656
    Scene of a Village Square in Tuscany, 1633
    x1956-32
  • 5246
    attributed to Giacomo Francia, Italian, ca. 1486–1556
    Cleopatra, ca. 1520
    x1947-177
  • 13617
    Felice Giani, Italian, 1758 - 1823
    Julius Caesar Swimming to Safety in the Harbor of Alexandria, ca. 1805–15
    1997-91
  • 93320
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) and followers, Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Album of Caricature Drawings, assembled early 18th century
    x1948-1290-1319
  • 6305
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Head of Young Man in a Broad-Brimmed Hat, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1293
  • 6319
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Woman with Deformed Lips, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1302
  • 6322
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Beggar Carrying a Child on His Shoulder, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1304
  • 36890
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Landscape with a Church beside a Lake with Boats, ca. 1630–40
    1998-867
  • 6307
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Bespectacled Man Reading a Book, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1295
  • 6324
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Scowling Elderly Man with Full Beard, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1306
  • 6306
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Boy in a Large Hat, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1294
  • 6326
    Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri), Italian, 1591 - 1666
    Unshaven Monk, 1630s–40s
    x1948-1308
  • 7119
    Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884 - 1920
    Portrait of a Woman (Beatrice Hastings?) in a Cloche Hat, ca. 1915
    x1948-1925
  • 49291
    Domenico Mondo, Italian, 1723 - 1806
    Apelles Painting Campaspe in the Presence of Alexander the Great, 1785–90
    2006-49
  • 36830
    Bartolomeo Passarotti, Italian, 1529 - 1592
    Christ Wearing the Crown of Thorns, with a Medallion of the Trinity, 1576–80
    1999-1
  • 8209
    Giovanni Battista Piazzetta, Italian, 1682–1754
    Head of a Young Woman with Lips Parted
    x1948-768