Drawings by the Old Masters give
us the sense of being close by the artists while they are creating,
of looking over their shoulder while they work on drawings, of experiencing
their inspiration and sharing their creative moments. These old
master drawings are precious because they allow us to raise the
curtain and see behind the scenes.
The final product is polished and honed, these old master drawings
allow us to relive the struggle of artistic accomplishment, to follow
its growth from idea to masterpiece. Some of these old master drawings
were preparatory works along the path to a painting, training grounds
where ideas could be tested, other were made to show to prospective
clients; some were made to stand alone.
The different roles these old master drawings played made for different
conservation methods: those intended as final works were carefully
preserved, those used to present commissions often were kept in
artist's portfolios, while those intended as preparatory works could
have even been picked up off a studio floor by an assistant or model.
Whatever their intended use, today old master drawings are fascinating
and accessible and certainly worth collecting.