Welcome to the Pen and Parchment blog. The exhibition will be on view at the Metropolitan Museum through August 23, 2009. From now until then, some of us who worked on the exhibition will be writing weekly posts about selected works of art featured in the exhibition, discussing themes that we find interesting, and responding to your comments and questions. (See About This Blog for more information about submitting comments.)
Drawings appear with surprising frequency in the Middle Ages, and were considered fitting for the embellishment of important and lavish books as well as for humbler tomes. The drawings are accomplished with a broad array of inventive techniques, as artists explored the possibilities of line, often playing it off painted and gilded elements on the page. Some of these works may puzzle the modern viewer because their subject matter, conventions of representation, and overall aesthetic may be unfamiliar. The works may in fact call into question our own expectations of what a drawing should look like and how it should function. With these issues in mind, we welcome your questions, comments, and general thoughts about the works discussed.
—Melanie Holcomb, Associate Curator, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters, The Metropolitan Museum of Art