Office of Communications
Stanhope Hall
Princeton, New Jersey 08544-5264
Telephone 609-258-3601; Fax 609-258-1301

For immediate release: May 25, 2001 

CONTACT: Ruta Smithson (609) 258-3763

Spanish Drawings on View at Princeton University Art Museum

Exhibition Dates: Through June 10, 2001

PRINCETON -- A small but remarkable group of drawings by Spanish masters spanning five centuries will be on view at the Princeton University Art Museum through June 10, 2001.

"With a few exceptions, including Minguet y Irol's Arrival of the Spanish King at Aranguez, most of the drawings are religious in subject matter, serving as preparatory studies for altarpieces, private devotional paintings, and fresco cycles, and reflecting the important role played by the church in Spanish culture," writes Professor Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann in an introductory wall text.

The exhibition opens with a dynamic pen and ink sketch of a male nude, possibly representing Adam leaving the Garden of Eden, and probably executed by a follower of the leading Spanish Renaissance painter and sculptor, Alonso Berruguete. Although at first this work might seem worlds apart from the concluding, secular image in the exhibition, the quintessentially cubist Harlequin with a Bat by Pablo Picasso, both drawings share a tendency toward an expressive distortion of the figure, which also characterizes the two drawings of apostles by Francisco Herrera the Elder and the beautiful double-sided sheet by Francisco Goya, which comes from the celebrated "Madrid Sketchbook." Other highlights include three rare red chalk studies by Jusepe Ribera, illustrating his penetrating naturalism, and the delicate and moving Christ on the Cross by Bartolomé Murillo."

The exhibition was organized in conjunction with "Old Master Drawings," a seminar taught by Professor Kaufmann in the Department of Art and Archaeology. The selection, which includes works from the Museum's collection and drawings on long-term loan to the Museum from a private foundation, comprises one of the finest groups of Spanish drawings in the United States. Many of the drawings have been catalogued for the first time by the students of Professor Kaufmann. Bound copies of papers written by the students on most of the works exhibited are available for viewing in the gallery.

The Art Museum is open to the public without charge. Free highlights tours of the collection are given every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Monday and major holidays. The Museum Shop closes at 5:00 p.m. The Museum is located in the middle of the Princeton University campus. Picasso's large sculpture Head of a Woman stands in front. For further information, please call (609) 258-3788.