Barocci Revealed

Just when I think I’ve finally become familiar with all the Renaissance artists, another one is revealed to me through the many lectures and art talks I’m privy to as an artist’s model. I’ve written before that although we’re not enrolled in classes as students, we models receive a fine art education of sorts, merely as attentive bystanders who just happen to be in between poses. I always listen to the lectures, that is if I can tear myself away from the distracting nonsense on my smartphone. Yes, I play Word Mole on my Blackberry sometimes, I admit it 😆 The other day at the New York Academy of Art, Robert Armetta treated his MFA drawing class to an enlightening slide show. After a quick run to the bathroom, I snuck back into the studio to see Robert analyzing some beautiful portrait drawings among his slides. I had missed the artist’s name, but the works were clearly of the Renaissance period. So I made the assumption they belonged to one of the usual suspects: Leonardo, Raphael, Giorgione, etc. After the lecture, I asked Robert who was the artist of those particular drawings. He replied, “Barocci”. Who??

Yet another Italian guy from the 16th century who could draw like nobody’s business. The name Barocci was only vaguely familiar to me. Yes I’ve heard it, or read it, somewhere, but never explored it. My loss as it turns out. For those of us who are not art historians, it’s easy to forget that under the umbrella of the illustrious giants who overwhelmingly dominate that era – the masters known as Michelangelo, da Vinci, Titian, and the rest – were many others toiling away alongside them, studying with them, apprenticing and assisting, perfecting their craft, and some making their own way independently. Federico Barocci may be far less known than Michelangelo, but these drawings impressed me so much both technically and expressively  I just had to share them on the blog, as I know many of you are partial to drawing, and portraiture. Robert was kind enough to email me the images and save me the effort of searching for them on the Internet. Thanks Robert! This is Barocci:

photo 3

photo 2

photo 1

The National Gallery in London, coincidentally, just held an exhibition of Barocci’s work in the spring of this year. Another review of the show can be found at The Guardian, and also at The Art Newspaper. All of the linked articles acknowledge Barocci’s somewhat “forgotten” status. But the man from Urbino seems to be receiving his well-deserved, albeit painfully late, recognition. What an incredible draughtsman.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Music Monday will return on September 30th. But first, let’s all meet back here this coming Tuesday, the 24th, for a little party, a picture, some rock and roll, and a blogging commemoration. Cheers friends!

9 thoughts on “Barocci Revealed

  1. Ruby LifeModel says:

    Roll on September the 30th!!

    Great post and was lucky to see that exhibition at The National Gallery!

    • artmodel says:


      That’s great that you got to see the Barocci exhibit! The National Gallery has amazing shows.

      Yes, we’re back for music on the 30th, but before that we’ll have a blog celebration on the 24th. Hope you stop by for that 🙂

      Thanks for your comments!


  2. Elaine says:

    Claudia, even though I had heard of Barocci. I had not seen his drawings. These are outstanding. I have an art book of Renaissance
    painters. I’m going to check out his work. He rivals the great painters of the era.

  3. Derek says:

    Here are something interesting about the man you are talking about.He is very underrated artist and he impressed me as well.
    Maybe you all can look at this

  4. Bill says:

    Great posting — it is amazing just how good these guys were.
    My favorite lesser-known Italian is Agnolo Bronzino. The Met had an exhibit of his drawings a couple of years ago — I’ve been kicking myself for missing it ever since I bought the catalog.

  5. Jennifer says:

    These certainly are beautiful drawings – I love the flashes of red highlights. Clearly I should have paid more attention to what was going on at the Nat Gal a few months ago!

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