after Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)
Farm on the Slope of a Hill, with a Winepress Under an Arbor
I made this drawing last year and just came across it while preparing for next week's drawing class. I copied it from one of my most favorite books, Curtis O. Baer's Landscape Drawings. Baer writes
"From Fra Bartolommeo, few drawings of landscape were known until 1957 when an album of forty-one sheets appeared on the London market. The volume was assembled in the eighteenth century, but it is likely that most of the drawings were done at one time. They have relatively uniform sizes, the style is homogeneous, the views are varied. It has been proposed that the artist drew them on his journey to Venice in 1508, or after he moved to the monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena in the Val Mugnone, 1514; but this is conjectural.
...the landscapes show a facet of the early sixteenth century which had so far remained little known. They transport the beholder into a countryside with small towns, water mills, old farms, amidst rocks and forests; he follows the travelers along the roads, he fairly breathes the limpid air. Fra Bartolommeeo's art, blending clarity with grace, is purest "lingua toscana" at its most felicitous moment."