PROCESS – Design Drawings from the Rijksmuseum

Antiquity and antiquarianism

3 November 2022

An object’s venerable age could from an additional argument to have a drawings made of it. From the Renaissance onwards, artefacts from Greek and Roman antiquity were highly admired. Both artists and connoisseurs were keen to obtain images of them. Works of art made at later periods were also collected and studied, and drawings of them were commissioned as well. Sometimes the artistic beauty of an old object was of paramount interest, but in other cases the historical dimension mattered most. When commissioning images of old and admired works of art, patrons usually wanted to acquire fine, carefully finished drawings.

Left to right: Jacques-Louis David, an antique Roman marble chair, c. 1775-1780. Aert Schouman, an enamelled gold cup made by Nicolaas Loockemans in 1667, 1748. Adam van Vianen, a silver bekerschroef, c. 1725.

Old and new
Someone who is also inspired by the past is designer Iris Toonen. In her studio, she combines old techniques with contemporary materials to create something new. She immediately starts with materials and those drawings, if necessary, come halfway through the process. In the video below, Iris tells you more about her special process and how she uses drawings.