Battle of the sea gods, early 1470s-circa 1490, Mantegna, Andrea (1431–1506), Italy. Gift of Bishop Monrad, 1869. Te Papa

Drawn from Italy: Mantegna to Kauffmann 

This selection of drawings and prints from Te Papa's collection illustrated the influence of Italian ideas about art and artists that spread throughout Europe from the time of the Renaissance. Drawn from Italy features works dating from the late 15th century to the late 18th century. They were created by artists who were Italian, or worked in Italy, or derived their subjects from Italian sources. 

Italy in the 15th century was the source of a major shift in thinking about art and the status of the artist. Art moved from illustrating abstract religious ideas to describing the real world. The role of the artist changed from that of an anonymous craftsman to a named individual.  

Drawing became an essential part of developing images during this Renaissance period. Drawings themselves became valued as representing the visible thoughts of the artist in producing a finished work of art and were avidly collected.

Making prints from engravings and etchings was another 15th century development. These processes enabled artists to run off large editions of a single image, giving them an easily marketable product. For example, the engravings of Andrea Mantegna were a primary vehicle for the spread of Renaissance ideas throughout Europe.

Following on from the North Island tour of Rembrandt The Experimental Etcher exhibition, and the South Island tour of Albrecht Dürer and 16th century German printmaking, Te Papa is proud to present this selection of 25 works for tour to North Island venues.


 19 March 2011 – 17 April 2011

Tauranga Art Gallery

 1 May 2011 – 29 May 2011

Percy Thomson Gallery

 12 June 2011 – 10 July 2011

Rotorua Museum

List of works

List of works and tour proposal document (pdf, 653 kB)


If you are interested in exhibiting Drawn from Italy: Mantegna to Kauffman, please contact: 

Mark Kent
Touring Exhibitions Manager, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa