For the early modern artist of 17th- and 18th-century Europe, the studio was the site of the vital study, creative exercise and network cultivation that fostered professional success. It was both a repository for inherited knowledge and a workshop of innovation. The space was abuzz with activity: assistants grinding pigments to make paint, pupils sketching live models, and masters executing their work, all accompanied by a continuous dialogue.
The relics of these practices are on display in Artists at Work: Picturing Practice in the European Tradition as a celebration of the physical and intellectual pursuit of creativity. From images of the studio to portraits meant to promote the artist’s reputation, the works in this exhibition have been assembled to describe the process of the early modern European artist and reflect the continuation of this tradition into Canadian conventions.
Featured artists include Dutch painters as Aert de Gelder, Willem Horst, and Abraham Susenier, next to Jacques Philippe Le Bas, William Etty, Baldassare Franceschini, Antonio Gabbiani, Ludovico Gimignani, Ignaz Sebastian Klauber, Bill Roff, and William Sawyer.