Current Research Project: The Antiquarian Drawing as a Site of Creative Invention
The current Census research project will explore creative invention in drawings inspired by the antique by Renaissance artists and architects. It will question the methodological tradition of regarding antiquarian drawings as ‘documents’ for the Nachleben of antique monuments, considering the role of creativity, invention and artistic expression. Recent work, particularly on the drawings of Maarten van Heemskerck, has opened up new approaches which require further exploration in the field of antiquarian studies generally. What role do artistic agency and self-representation play in drawings ‘after’ the antique, not only those which can be attributed to well-known figures but also anonymous drawings? How can the purpose, function and audience of these drawings be considered in relation to issues of artistic expression and creative invention?
What role do the disciplines of archaeology and art history play in the interpretation of antiquarian drawings, and what is at stake in preserving their status as documents? The project will develop first as an international conference, with further details to come.
Amico Aspertini, ‘London II’, British Museum, fol. 27r, detail