zoomable original here.
a little essay by their curators about the many new discoveries that are still being made in old libraries and collections:
In our instant-access age, when it is easy to think that pretty much all human knowledge is immediately available through a couple of judicious clicks, it is both exciting and refreshing that major artistic discoveries continue to be made with some regularity. . . .
In my specialist area, Old Master Drawings, discoveries are sometimes made simply because the work in question has somehow avoided passing before the right eyes: I think here of the incredibly rare and beautiful drawing by Lucas van Leyden, a colossus of early 16th-century Dutch art, which was brought to me a few years ago by a collector with a finely tuned eye, who had picked it up for next to nothing at a small London dealer. It turned out that over the previous couple of years, this spectacular, signed work had gone through the hands of two auctioneers and at least one other dealer, without ever being recognised.
One of the most important previously unknown drawings in the sale is Lelio Orsi’s splendid image of Apollo driving the Chariot of the Sun, drawn around 1544, for the most important commission the artist ever made, his lost fresco decoration on the clock tower of the Piazza del Duomo, in the city of Reggio Emilia. This very free and spontaneous study was entirely unknown until we were asked to look through an album of drawings from the library at Fettercairn House, in Scotland, a collection put together in the 18th and early 19th centuries.