Drawing in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries reflected obsessions of the age, ranging from the communication of status and erudition to recording visual truth and intensely personal responses to nature. This richly illustrated book is the first in a series of books exploring the Cleveland Museum of Art’s extraordinary collection of light-sensitive treasures.
British Drawings charts the progress of the watercolour from early examples by Francis Towne and John Robert Cozens to its triumphant culmination with one of J. M. W. Turner’s prized late Swiss landscapes. Drawings in ink, chalk, pastel, and graphite are equally varied, representing styles ranging from a quintessentially neoclassical subject by John Flaxman to one of Aubrey Beardsley’s extravagantly decadent illustrations for Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock. Detailed descriptions of medium, inscription, provenance, and select bibliography for each drawing derive from fresh examination and research. Catalogue entries provide insights into the careers of the artists represented and elucidate the extraordinary power of works
Heather Lemonedes is curator of drawings at the Cleveland Museum of Art and adjunct professor of art history at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. Contributions to recent publications include Breaking the Mold: The Legacy of the Noah L. and Muriel S. Butkin Collection of Nineteenth-Century French Art (2012) and Paul Gauguin: Paris, 1889 (2009; published in Europe as Paul Gauguin: The Breakthrough.