Contorted, elongated forms and dramatically animated compositions characterize the emerging artistic style of the late Renaissance (about 1520–1600). Concerned with grace and virtuosity in the depiction of the human figure, this new style is best identified with the rise of the Italian concept of disegno, referring not only to the physical act of drawing but also to the essence of creative design.
This exhibition explores the various radical iterations of the style from its origins in Florence across Europe, featuring rare drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum's collection by Italian, French, and Netherlandish artists, together with five works from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
A naked male figure bursts with energy in this drawing by the French artist Toussaint Dubreuil. He is perhaps Mars, the Roman god of war, with plumed helmet and staff, leaning on a voluted column capital. After sketching the form in black chalk, Dubreuil modeled the volumes with vigorous parallel- and cross-hatched, curvilinear pen-and-ink lines, creating a powerful sculptural quality.