With its 67 sheets, the set of old drawings is the smallest of all the collections in Kroměříž Chateau. However, thanks to its definitive compactness, historical and ownership continuity and artistic quality, it is regarded as an exceptional set, equal to the collection of paintings. Only a fragment of a once abundant collection has been preserved to the present. The first acquisitions are connected with the name of the Bishop Karl von Liechtenstein-Kastelkorn (1664–1695) who bought works of art from Franz and Bernard von Imstenraed, art dealers from Cologne. In the list of items purchased, besides several separate drawings, there are six albums of works by Italian painters. Part of the Imstenraed cabinet of drawings were originally from the collections of the executed King Charles I of England (1625–1649) and Thomas Howard Earl of Arundel (1585–1646). Italian drawings from the 16th and the first half of the 17th centuries are predominant. The Kroměříž collection contains art from almost all the important centres of Italian art: Florence, Bologna, Siena, Milan, Genoa, Rome and Venice. An inseparable part of the collection is a set of period copies. In particular the copies of paintings that have been destroyed are of special value (e.g. three sheets with the details of the decorations of the Palazzo Milesi in Rome by Polidoro da Caravaggio). Northern, transalpine drawings comprise about one tenth of the collection. From a thematic point of view there are exclusively figural motifs, from the point of view of technique, all types of drawing are represented - from sketches (pensiero, primo pensiero) and studies (studio, schizzo) to the final drawing (disegno). The paper on which the drawings are done often has a watermark, which helps place the drawings in their correct time and location.
Jana Macháčková MA
Curator of Drawings by Old Masters | Curator of Graphics 16th to 18th century | Chief Curator of the exhibition KAM
tel.: +420 573 331 765 M: +420 778 485 287
MgA. Jiří Miláček
administrator of the depository of AMK
tel.: 573 334 327
A Sketch of a Man with a Beard and a Period Cap, around 1500