Long before Andy Warhol and his soup cans or Damien Hirst and his one-man auction show, art and commerce
were intimate bedfellows. This Getty show reminds us just how long,
with 23 drawings done by Renaissance and Baroque artists to prep for
stained glass, sculpture, jewelry, and tapestries commissioned by
wealthy patrons. The mock-ups, like Jean-Louis Prieur’s 1775 Drawing for a Wall Light
— displayed with the finished product — are remarkably detailed. That
was intentional. The artists could then turn production over to their
underlings, and it helped avoid wasting pricey materials on
manufacturing errors. Occasionally, something was lost in translation.
“The drawings,” associate curator Stephanie Schrader says, “are often
the closest thing to the artist’s actual vision.” — KR
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