Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): The Drawings is a 100 drawing show, the first ever exhibition of Rubens’s work as a draftsman. Although I’ve never been a huge fan of Rubens’s paintings, with their Venetian color and swirling compositions, his drawings demonstrate his freedom of line and expression to great advantage. Rubens lived all over Europe, which afforded him the chance to study his predecessors in depth. A fine example of Rubens’s sinuous Baroque hand is his copy of Michelangelo’s muscular Libyan Sibyl (a study for the latter’s Sistine Chapel painting) which hangs next to Rubens’s more curvilinear and feminine version of the same.
Also at the Met is William Kentridge: Selections on Paper. This small exhibition of drawings and works on paper, chosen from the Metropolitan’s collection, is a strong introduction to this South African artist’s work. Kentridge is well known for his films, which appear to be his drawings in motion. The film on view in the Metropolitan show brings Kentridge’s work to life.