The inspiration for this exhibition has come from a remarkable discovery in the collections of the University of Southampton Library of an album of 163 sketches by Francis Cleyn the elder (1582 – 1658). Cleyn was one of the dominant figures in the decorative arts in early Stuart England.
The exhibition focuses on the images of the early modern world as they were employed by kings and princes in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It looks at questions of patronage – supporting the artists who produced the finest creations was essentially the work of the elite, especially of monarchies and princely houses, including those of the Church – through the work of two artists. Those artists are Cleyn and Luca Cambiaso (1527 – 85), an Italian from Liguria, who went to Spain in 1567 and became court painter to Philip II – his works were collected by, among others, Charles I of England and Queen Christina of Sweden. The exhibition features works from the V&A, the British Library and the British Museum.
Images in the Level 4 Gallery will supplement the exhibition, showing reproductions of a selection of further drawings from the Archives and Manuscripts Collection of Cleyn’s drawings.
The exhibition runs from 2nd June – 27th July 2014. A private view and drinks reception will take place on Thursday, 5 June, 5pm – 7pm. All are welcome.
Venue: Special Collections Gallery and Level 4 Gallery, Level 4, Hartley Library, University Road, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ.
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