From the museum’s website, 3 February 2015
Since the Renaissance, drawing has been particularly valued – not just because of its relevance to the creative process in all the arts, but also as an insight into an artist’s inspiration. In his “Schilder-Boeck” (book of painters) of 1604, the Dutch biographer Carel van Mander also describes it admiringly as the “father of painting”.
The prominent role of graphic art is also reflected in the GNM’s holdings of Netherlandish drawings of the 15th to 18th century, which are now being shown for the first time in a special exhibition. Featuring around 90 selected works, the exhibition traces an arc from pieces from the workshop of Jan van Eyck through to the decorative designs of Jacob de Wit. The diversity of techniques and themes so typical of the Flemish and Dutch masters is revealed in depictions of landscapes, figure studies, genre scenes, allegories or religious subjects. The exhibition also looks at the various functions of draughtsmanship: from the first sketched idea through to independent works produced for the art market.