16th-century bolognese drawings in the Louvre collections


22 September 2022 – 16 January 2023

16th-century bolognese drawings in the Louvre collections

22 September 2022 – 16 January 2023

This exhibition accompanies the publication of volume 12 of the Inventaire Général des Dessins Italiens, devoted to 16th-century Bolognese drawings in the Louvre collections.

It presents drawings produced by Bologna-born artists or those who made the city their adopted home, all active before the arrival of the Carracci family. A selection of forty-four sheets shines a light on the evolution of Bolognese drawing all throughout the 16th century by featuring major artists as well as lesser-known, albeit prolific, figures.

A new way of drawing, refined and elegant, sometimes bordering on the whimsical, came about in the early years of the Cinquecento, in the workshops of Francesco Francia, Peregrino da Cesena, Marcantonio Raimondi and Amico Aspertini. Lesser-known artists such as Innocenzo da Imola, Bagnacavallo, Biagio Pupini and Girolamo da Treviso, active between about 1515 and 1550 and steeped in classical and Raphaelesque culture, contributed to the gradual creation of a new style featuring the dramatic effects of shading and light, paving the way to a modern style.

About mid-century, Pellegrino Tibaldi brought a new monumental language to Bologna from Rome, inspired by Michelangelo and featuring a calligraphic refinement owing much to Perino del Vaga. Then, during the second half of the 16th-century, Prospero Fontana, Lorenzo Sabatini and Orazio Samacchini, after having made a name for themselves in the decoration of several palaces, exported their style to a number of cities neighbouring Bologna, then Rome and its surroundings, when they were called to work for the Bolognese pope Gregory XIII.

The exhibition also presents the drawings of Bartolomeo Passerotti, the most influential artist of the Bolognese school, who imposed his new analytical approach to the natural world, foreshadowing the artistic language of the generation to come.


Organised by:

Roberta Serra, musée du Louvre


This exhibition is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels.

The publication the Inventaire Général des Dessins Italiens. Tome XII. Dessins bolonais du XVIe Siècle is supported by The Mark Pigott Lecture and Research Fund.

Présentation d’exposition : Dessins bolonais du XVIe siècle dans les collections du Louvre

Video1 h 01 min