Master Drawings, Spring 2024

For the first time in over a decade, British drawings scholarship is the subject of the current issue of Master Drawings (Vol. 62, no. 1). Featured on the cover is one of the highly distinctive images by the “Masters of the Giants,” a late-eighteenth century artist who habitually pictured muscular, heroic nudes. A comprehensive look at this mysterious draftsman includes a catalogue raisonné of 36 of his drawings and a tentative theory on who this artist really was.

Two enlightening articles on William Hogarth compellingly delve into the master’s working methods. The first engages in a deep reading of the complex historical and political factors that may have resulted in Hogarth’s early illustrations to Don Quixote being rejected and replaced by drawings by John Vanderbank. The second, provides new understanding of the genesis and development of Hogarth’s renowned Four Stages of Cruelty.

Learn about a drawing by a follower of Correggio and understand how it was among sixteenth-century Italian works on paper used as visual source material in paintings by Sir Joshua Reynolds. The final article presents the little-known but highly accomplished artist and suffragette Anna Alma-Tadema, firmly identifying the sitter of a tender watercolor portrait Maisie.

Two compelling reviews complete the issue. The first considers the scintillating catalogue Fuseli and the Modern Woman: Fashion, Fantasy, Fetishism, which accompanied the 2023 exhibition organized by the Courtauld Gallery, London, in partnership with the Kunsthaus, Zürich. The second is a review of the Museo Horne (Florence, Italy) drawing collection catalogue, highlighting a little-known institution with a broad and impressive selection of works on paper, including a series of unashamedly pornographic sheets by Henry Fuseli.

Haven’t subscribed for 2024 yet? Subscribe now (https://masterdrawings.org/subscribe/) and start reading online before your printed copy arrives in the mail! Access to our digital platform is free with your individual subscription. The online version of the journal offers the opportunity to explore the drawings discussed by our experts further, via links to digital collections.

 

Image: Master of The Giants, Imprisoned Figures, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford