European drawings (16th-19th century)

Drawings, in their various functions, are closely linked to the decorative arts. Through drawings, planning takes place and ideas are formulated, shapes are defined and information is passed on to the craftsmen who make the objects or the decorative devices in which objects are to be placed. Drawings also provide mementos for unique pieces as well as models to be reproduced as etchings, for tastes and trends to be shared. In addition, drawings help us understand how a single decorative language can be applied to different media: from stone to precious metals, ceramic to fabric, wood to painting, in print and other situations. The oldest samples in our possession are fragmentary and this makes them at once fascinating and more difficult to read and understand.
The presentation of this set of European ornamental drawings from the museum’s collection, many of which are displayed for the first time, does not aim to systematize: its rationale is merely to show the diversity of typologies that we have today, and the issues related to their study and comprehension.

Alexandra Gomes Markl

Exhibition booklet
icon pdf download ficheiro