Studies of Peonies

Object Details

Title:

Studies of Peonies

Artist/Maker(s):

Martin Schongauer (German, about 1450/1453 - 1491)

Culture:

German

Place(s):

Germany (Place created)

Date:

about 1472 - 1473

Medium:

Gouache and waterolor

Dimensions:

25.7 x 33 cm (10 1/8 x 13 in.)

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One of the earliest surviving northern European botanical studies drawn from life, this drawing shows a fully opened peony bloom, viewed first from the front and then from the back, and one bud. Martin Schongauer achieved subtly gradated coloration by laying in the basic forms in a broad painterly wash and then describing the details in bodycolor, opaque water-based color, with the point of the brush. Though an outstanding example of a highly finished drawing, it was made as a study for the painting, The Madonna of the Rose Garden of 1473, in the Dominican church in Colmar.

During the late 1400s, people began to perceive the natural world in a radically different way. They ventured out into nature to study it and record it firsthand. Along with others artists, Schongauer became one of the leading pioneers of an effort to make studies directly from nature.

Provenance

Private Collection Geneva

Private Collection Switzerland

Art Market New York

July 5, 1988

Christie's (London), lot 37

Exhibitions
Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration (October 12, 1991 to January 12, 1992)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), October 12 to January 12, 1991
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (104)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (72)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (72)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Art and Science: Joris Hoefnagel and the Representation of Nature in the Renaissance (October 12, 1999 to January 9, 2000) (72)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 12, 1999 to January 9, 2000
German and Swiss Drawings from the Permanent Collection (June 6 to August 20, 2000) (72)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 6 to August 20, 2000
Picturing the Natural World (June 17 to September 7, 2003) (72)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
Dürer and the Virgin in the Garden (March 24 to June 20, 2004) (3, p 9; Cat. by Susan Foister)
  • The National Gallery (London), March 24 to June 20, 2004
Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science (February 23 to August 31, 2008) (3, p 9; Cat. by Susan Foister)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 10 to August 31, 2008
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012) (3, p 9; Cat. by Susan Foister)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012
Albrecht Durer: His Art in the Context of Its Time (October 24, 2013 to February 2, 2014) (3, p 9; Cat. by Susan Foister)
  • Städel Museum, (Frankfurt am Main), October 24, 2013 to February 2, 2014