Discover the magic of Italian drawing


EXHIBITION: The Magic of Drawing. Italian Drawing of the High Renaissance and Mannerism from Bohemian and Moravian Public Collections
PLACE: Archbishops Chateau Kroměříž
ORGANIZER: Olomouc Museum of Art
CONCEPT: Zdeněk Kazlepka, Martin Zlatohlávek
CURATOR: Zdeněk Kazlepka
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Petr Šmalec, Vladimír Vaca
PREPARATION OF EXHIBITS: Jakub Barna, Alena Hejduková, Jiří Miláček
EXHIBITS KINDLY LOANED BY: Archbishopric of Olomouc, Moravian Gallery in Brno, Museum and Gallery in Prostějov, National Gallery in Prague, National Heritage Institute, Memorial of National Literature, Regional Museum in Teplice, Charles University

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Visitors to the Archbishops Castle in Kroměříž will see a representative exhibition of 16th century Italian drawing from 15 June to 17 September 2023. Italian Drawing of the High Renaissance and Mannerism in Czech and Moravian Public Collections”, prepared by the Olomouc Museum of Art, will present a collection of 16th-century Italian drawings from the collections of the National Gallery in Prague, the Moravian Gallery in Brno, the Regional Museum in Teplice, the Archbishopric of Olomouc, the Museum and Gallery in Prostějov, the National Heritage Institute, Charles University and the Memorial of National Literature. 

According to Leonardo da Vinci, there is a “white magic” hidden in the art of drawing and painting, which is the only noble and correct one in comparison to the “black magic”, against which Leonardo fought against and the false magicians. The artist is a magician, a creator equal to God: “The painter wants to see the beauty that surrounds him, but he can also create it himself. He is the lord and God of all that is visible, the bad and the good. He can create mountains and valleys, plains and seas that do not really exist. 

Visitors can trace the different functions of the drawings with different subjects (drawings of figures, animals, landscapes, architecture, etc.) from the initial sketch, study, through the elaborate design (modello) to contemporary copies (ricordo) and imitations. This functional diversity of drawing is characterised by different techniques and styles, making it more unique and attractive as a type of art. At the same time, interested visitors will learn about the various painting workshops (bottegami) that dominated Italian urban centres. The workshops where the works on paper on display were created became the basis for the traditional division of Italian painting by school. Although each of the schools was characterised by its own stylistic peculiarities, they influenced each other in such a way that several styles and its modifications could be found in one school.


The exhibition is accompanied by an expert publication prepared by Zdeněk Kazlepka (Olomouc Museum of Art) and Martin Zlatohlávek (Charles University) within the framework of a project supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic for the years 2020-2022. Although it has only just been published, both authors originally conceived it as the first part of a three-part catalogue of Italian drawings from the public collections of the Czech Republic. The volume currently being published is preceded by two previously published publications entitled “Muse under the Heavens – Italian Early Baroque Drawings from Czech and Moravian Collections” (published for an exhibition at the Moravian Gallery in Brno) and “Diversities of Drawing – Italian Drawings of the High and Late Baroque Period in Czech and Moravian Public Collections”.

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