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28NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING expensive material, it was far cheaper than theparchment or vellum that it superseded. Vellum's greatstrength was its durability, hence its use for graphiccompendia of useful images, known as model books, thatwere assembled most commonly by north Italian artists in theearly 1400s. The notion that an artist should develop a unique style,rather than keeping true to one handed down from previousgenerations, is one facet of the burgeoning sense ofindividuality that characterises the Renaissance period. The honing of a distinctive graphic style allowed an artist tostand out from his peers, and a prime example of thisstratagem is Andrea Mantegna whose career was largelyspent at the Gonzaga court in Mantua in north Italy. Thecombination of wiry contour and dense parallel hatching in hisVirgin and Childfrom the 1480s is one that he promulgatedthrough his involvement with the new technology of engravingthat spread his fame to the wider world. Infraredreflectography that detects carbon-based media such asblack chalk has revealed Mantegna's spare underdrawing,including a different design for the Virgin's throne, unseensince he covered it over with ink. The discovery is one of agreat many made during the course of the non-invasivescientific analysis of the British Museum drawings in the show,the findings of which are presented as comparative imagesalongside the exhibited works. The purpose of Mantegna's drawing is not known since norelated print or painting survives, yet it is likely that such adetailed study was intended as a design for a finished work.Above: Study forthe background of the Adoration ofthe Magi,Leonardo daVinci (c1481)RENAISSANCE DRAWINGSA significant indicator of the rising importance of drawing isthat artists such as Pisanello and Mantegna began to producegraphic works as works of art in their own right. Nevertheless,the majority of drawings in the exhibition are working studies,and as such were never intended to be seen outside thestudio. The privacy of drawing allowed artists to indulge inflights of fancy unseen in their paintings, as can be seen in theFlorentine artist Raffaellino del Garbo's life study of a studioassistant for the pose of the Risen Christin an altarpiece.While he was drawing the model he was clearly struck by theresemblance of his lithe, boyish form to classical sculptures ofthe wine god Bacchus, and hence he depicted him semi-naked and added a garland of vine leaves around his head.The decently draped figure in the finished painting shows nohint of the artist's musings on the parallels between the RisenChrist and the sensual pagan deity. The exhibition abounds insuch insights to the thinking of some of the period's mostcreative minds, not least the magical transformation of asimple life drawing of a woman's head on one side, to anidealised vision of pensive female beauty on the other byLeonardo's master, Andrea del Verrocchio. Like a number of the artists represented in the show, suchas Antonio Pollaiuolo and the Sienese polymath Francesco diGiorgio, Verrocchio came to painting after training as agoldsmith. His principal activity as a sculptor in bronze andmarble shaped his approach to drawing, most notably in hismanipulation of light to describe surface and texture, visible inhis rendering of the complex patterns of the woman's knottedhair and the lustrous smoothness of her cheek. The sculptural