Viewing Tilt

January 9th, 2012 § 1 comment

The Getty has a nice online presentation of Federico Zuccaro’s series of drawings chronicling Taddeo’s formative years. They were exhibited as a group in 2007/08 and the multi-media supplement comes out of the exhibition.  Some of the twenty sheets show Taddeo drawing: drawing by the light of the moon, at work on a study of an antique relief, drawing the Loggia of Psyche frescoes by Raphael and his school at the Farnesina, then the Laocoön,  and finally Michelangelo’s Last Judgement. Wherever, Taddeo is very earnestly studying his subject and making marks on his drawing board.

Federico Zuccaro | Taddeo Copying Raphael's Frescoes in the Loggia of Villa Farnesina, Where He Is Also Represented Asleep | Pen and brown ink, brush with brown wash, over black chalk and touches of red chalk | 423 x 174 mm | Getty Museum

When I was looking at the drawings, it came to me that he was drawing at an angle–not on a entirely horizontal or vertical surface, but gentler angles between the two–the sort of angle I prefer to look at drawings. In most galleries drawings are hung vertically, even ramrod vertical.  This, combined with the disruptions of plexiglas and artificial light, does not make for ideal viewing.

When people talk about sculpture in the round, they talk about the different views and optimal views. With drawing is there a right tilt and is it the tilt at which the drawing was drawn? Readers with portable devices can try out all the angles.

Art Newspaper Photo of Louis-Antoine Prat | September 2010



§ One Response to Viewing Tilt

  • Bill MacDonald says:

    I’m not sure about tilt, but I’ve always felt that most galleries and museums hang drawings (and paintings) too high. If the artwork isn’t at eye-level, there is certainly a problem with glare, as well as artificially-induced foreshortening, for the viewer.