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Large charcoal drawing of the stage for "King Lear" scene two. The stage itself is black and the backdrop is white and grey. At left, a tall, straight-backed chair. In center, extending from backdrop to front of stage, is a long, flat bed.
Wilson Lights the Lights
If anyone has come to know seminal avant-garde theatre director Robert Wilson, they will have witnessed the autodidact hard at work sketching. Whether backstage at a major European opera house or cramped into an economy-class plane seat—flying over the Alps to simulate the intensity of a Wagner aria—he always garners silence when drawing. When at...
A drawing of a tomb with a sarcophagus in a rounded-arch niche. A robed figure of Death stands before the sarcophagus holding a smoking lamp. The tomb is flanked by 2 recumbent lions carved in stone.
Simply Macabre
In this atmospheric drawing, the robed figure of Death holds a smoking brazier and presides over a tomb cast in a gray wash. Stark shadows describe the geometric forms of a massive sarcophagus and sepulchral niche. The simplicity of the somber interior evokes the proportions of Egyptian architecture, as well as that ancient culture’s fascination with death. Louis-Jean...
1925-1-349 Matt Flynn 001
Coming Up Roses
In celebration of Women’s History Month, Cooper Hewitt is dedicating select Object of the Day entries to the work of women designers in our collection. Two delicate roses nestle on a creamy ground. Although drawn in grisailles, a monochromatic pallet of grays and black, the flowers achieve an astonishing realism. Anne Vallayer-Coster was a master...
24099_1cf12b03cdfb4b4c_b
Having your vegetables and eating them too
The famous silver tureens that the eighteenth–century silversmith Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier designed for England’s Duke of Kingston may be the most celebrated objects of his career. They were etched in a double-page spread in Oeuvre de Juste-Aurele Meissonnier published by Gabriel Huquier around 1748. This volume is one of the rare books acquired by the Cooper...
Drawing, Design for a Surtout de Table, for State Porcelain Service of Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, 1873–76. brush and watercolor, gouache, gold paint, black ink and wash, traces of graphite or black chalk on heavy tan wove paper. Museum purchase through gift of Levy-Hermanos Foundation, Inc. and Henry W. Safran Foundation, Inc. and from Friends of Drawings and Prints and Drawings and Prints Council Funds. 2000-8-1.
Egyptomania in Egypt
Throughout the 19th century, Egypt was considered to be nominally a province of the Ottoman Empire, although both France and Britain worked to assert influence and control in the country. Isma’il Pasha was a young man when succeeded his uncle as Khedive (Viceroy) of Egypt in 1863. Isma’il presided over the country as it was...
1977-110-3-25
Back to the Drawing Board
This drawing of St. Nicholas of Bari, the model for Santa Claus,[1] was done by the artist Jean-Robert Ango (b. unknown, d. 1773) after the statue of the saint on the colonnade of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Ango, originally from France, lived and worked in Rome from 1759 to 1772. During this time he...
after pineau library
An Enlightened Man Cave
The interior decoration depicted in this drawing is extremely fashionable for an eighteenth-century home. This design exhibits the quintessential light and airy Rococo features of arabesques, s- and c- scrolls, vegetal motifs and swags, all with the appearance of symmetry. The layout of the boiserie, or wall paneling, aids in the creation of symmetry within the...
41376_cee50bb9a7952861_b
Norman Villa sur Seine
Recognized for an Art Nouveau style all his own, French architect Hector Guimard (1867-1942) designed over a hundred buildings during a prolific fifteen-year span: 1898-1913. He is perhaps best known for having devised the iconic Paris Metro entrance in 1907, a wide-spread scheme employing standardized components that recreate natural forms through the structural and sculptural...
stradanus
Battling with an Orca
There is a story that an orca came into the harbor at Ostia, Rome’s ancient port, during the reign of Emperor Claudius, right when Claudius was reconstructing the harbor. The orca, or killer whale, was attracted by a local shipwreck, and had been feeding in the harbor for some days when it became trapped by...