MASTER DRAWINGS MANHATTAN
is a virtual art gallery physically located in New York City.
THE LAST JUDGEMENT
The name, “Old Master” is derived from Germanic, “Alte Meister”, referring to the early works by Durer and his copyists, and, thereafter, to all of the finest draughtsmen emblematic of mastering the line to execute fine drawings. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the term as “A pre-eminent artist of the period before the modern; esp. a pre-eminent western European painter of the 13th to 18th centuries.” Even pupils of a Master are considered under the rubric of “alte meister”, the honorific being determined through association with the relevant school of a Master, or teacher.
There are comparable terms in Dutch, French and German; the Dutch perhaps being the first to make use of such a term, in the 18th century, when oude meester mostly meant painters of the Dutch Golden Age, like Frans Hals and Rembrandt.
The term is also used to refer to a painting or sculpture made by an Old Master, a usage datable to early writings wherein Les Maitres d’autrefois of 1876 by Eugene Fromentin, an artist himself, referred to the important masters in historical context. Fromentin wrote poetically about the role of the artist. Talking about the effects of light, the aroma in the air of cities worthy of remembrance, he discusses the Dutch capital redolent of ash fires and damp. In his memoir, “The Masters of Past Time, Or Criticism On The Old Flemish Dutch Painters”, Fromentin captures the nature of the giants of that era, talking about the notion of “Dutch Masterpieces”, today the term conjures groups of men formally dressed, conferring about issues of scientific and political importance. He writes about “The Syndics” as a pinnacle ensemble painting by Rembrandt when discussing Hals’ “Regents of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital” in a fresh revelation of what we today refer to as a “masterpiece”. We instinctively turn in our mind directly to Fromentin’s referent when we hear that prescient terminology.
In our website you may peruse a variety of quality line drawing and finished studies, culled from centuries of artistic virtuosity. You may find a sleeper, a long forgotten master drawing and, more importantly, learn about the best available sheets on the market to establish or expand your collection.
The site is updated regularly with additional sheets and prints for all levels of collector, beginner to connoisseur. But if you’re a total beginner we offer guidance to help you find the confidence you need to get to learn how to know quality.
Fragment of “LAST JUDGEMENT”
To get general information collecting works on paper, please visit our site regularly for updates and new material.
MASTER DRAWINGS MANHATTAN
Founded in 2020 by Joseph Volpe, MDM, is a rare drawings and print shop based in New York City. Visits are by appointment only.
Do you have questions about our drawings or pieces displayed on Artsy, ArtNet or ABE?
327 West 89th Street
New York, NY 10024