Prof. Chris Fischer

National Gallery of Denmark

As a museum curator of Prints and Drawings my research has been mainly concentrated around drawings, mainly by Italian masters from all periods with all the implications which follows such as paper, techniques, attributions, the individual drawing's place in the work process, it's connection with a finished work, problems of dating, commissioning, provenance i.e. collection history and history of tast.

My most important contributions to the international scholarship is probably my articles and exhibition catalogues of Fra Bartolommeo: the exhibitions on his drawings at the Uffizi (1986), Museum Boijmans-van Beuningen and other places (1990–1992), the Louvre (1995) and the exhibition which also included paintings at the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum made in collaboration with Albert Elen in 2016.

For the last 20 years I have mainly worked with the cataloguing of the vast and to a large extent unknown collection of foreign Old Master drawings in the Royal Collection of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Denmark where I have been employed since 1990, first as Chief Curator and later as head of Centre for Advanced Studies in Old Master Drawings, writing catalogues raisonnés of the holdings of Central Italian, Venetian and Neapolitan drawings and edited catalogues of the German, Roman, Genoese, French and British drawings.

The Dominican monk and painter Fra Bartolommeo (Florence 1473–1517) is one of the four founders of the High Renaissance. He has left nearly 100 paintings and more than 1,500 drawings, the largest number of drawings we know of a Renaissance artist at all. They allow us to follow his work process down to the smallest detail. The latest monographic treatment of Fra Bartolommeo dates from 1922 and is primarily a formal analysis. Such an approach is not adequate for a contemporary interpretation. Therefore, we want to write a new monograph based on a catalogue raisonné of Fra Bartolommeo's paintings and drawings. The book will follow three main tracks: A mapping of the workflow, a study of the customers and their significance for the iconographic content and a study of which paths the knowledge of From Bartolomeo's works and the spread of the high Renaissance style spread to Rome, Northern Italy and the rest of Europe.


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