On View: Drawing on Blue

Drawing on blue - Jean-Baptiste Oudry, "The Wolf and the Fox"
Jean-Baptiste Oudry (1686–1755), “The Wolf and the Fox,” 1733, black ink and gray wash heightened with white opaque watercolor on blue paper; frame design: black ink, gray wash, and blue watercolor, 12 1/4 x 10 1/4 in., J. Paul Getty Museum, 2002.52.2

Carefully crafted from blue rags formed into sheets, blue paper possesses distinctive aesthetic qualities that have long fascinated European artists, from its earliest use in Renaissance Italy to Enlightenment France and beyond. As a middle tone, this support enables artists to model forms in light and dark, and is ideal for working in colored chalks.

Thanks to recent technical examinations of its own drawings, the J. Paul Getty Museum has mounted “Drawing on Blue,” an exhibition offering fresh insights into the physical properties of blue paper and its unique contribution to artistic practice from the 15th through 18th centuries.

At a Glance:
“Drawing on Blue”
Getty Center, Los Angeles
through April 28, 2024

Edited by curator Edina Adam and conservator Michelle Sullivan, the accompanying 160-page publication builds upon their study of drawings not only at the Getty, but also in major collections across Europe and North America. The exhibition’s visitors and the catalogue’s readers are learning about blue paper’s process of manufacture, as well as the global commercial, cultural, and political forces that enabled its dispersion.

View more art museum announcements here at FineArtConnoisseur.com.


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