Throughout history artists have sought new and innovative ways to tell stories through visual means. Storied Past: Four Centuries of French Drawings from the Blanton Museum of Art presents French perspectives on dramatic narrative from the 16th through 19th centuries. Biblical, historical, mythological, and contemporary characters abound in drawings by artists such as Jacques Callot, François Boucher, Théodore Rousseau, Jean-Louis Forain, and Théophile Alexandre Steinlen. Organized by the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin, the exhibition features more than 50 works and reveals the expressive and technical range of French drawing through preliminary sketches, compositional studies, figure studies, and finished drawings.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Cheryl K. Snay, curator of European art, Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame; Jonathan Bober, curator of Old Master prints, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Kenneth M. Grant, paper conservator, Harry Ransom Center. Snay discusses the role of drawing in France from 1500 to 1900, Bober explores the history of the Suida-Manning Collection, and Grant offers technical analysis of several works, unearthing new information about the creation and functions of the drawings. The catalogue is co-published by Hudson Hills Press.