Holbein - Woman wearing a white headdress

”Woman wearing a white headdress (c. 1532–43)” by Hans Holbein the Younger. Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017

‘The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt’

The National Portrait Gallery presents ‘The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt’ (13 July – 22 October 2017), an exhibition that includes works by some of the outstanding masters of the Renaissance and Baroque, many rarely seen, and some not displayed for decades.

Source: National Portrait Gallery

”The Encounter: Drawings from Leonardo to Rembrandt” brings together fifty portrait drawings by artists who worked throughout Europe including Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Annibale Carracci, François Clouet, Albrecht Dürer, Anthony Van Dyck, Benozzo Gozzoli, Hans Holbein the Younger, Antonio di Puccio Pisano (Pisanello), Rembrandt van Rijn, Peter Paul Rubens, Francesco Salviati and Leonardo da Vinci.

The drawings not only serve as extraordinary records of an artist’s skill and a sitter’s appearance, but have been selected for this exhibition because they appear to capture a moment of connection, an encounter between an artist and a sitter.

Some of the people depicted in these portraits can be identified, such as the emperor’s chaplain or the king’s clerk, but many are the faces from the street – the nurse, the shoemaker, and the artist’s friends and pupils in the studio – whose likenesses were rarely captured in paintings during this period. The exhibition includes some of the hidden treasures of Britain’s finest collections, as the drawings’ sensitivity to light means they cannot be put on regular display.

Highlights include 15 drawings generously lent by Her Majesty The Queen from the Royal Collection, including eight portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger; a group of drawings produced in the Carracci studio from Chatsworth; and the British Museum’s preparatory drawing by Albrecht Dürer for a lost portrait of Henry Parker, Lord Morley, who had been sent to Nuremberg as ambassador to King Henry VIII.

Related content

'Drawings for Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt' at NGA Washington (exhibition, 2016-2017)

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