Conrad Martin Metz (1749-1827)

The Death of the Children of Niobe Rome, 1820 Pen and brown ink and wash, heightened with white 454 x 684 mm Metz lived in Rome from 1801 until his death in 1827. This highly-worked presentation drawing treats the slaughter of Niobe’s seven sons and seven daughters by Apollo and Diana, a subject from Ovid … Read more

Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)

An Italian Town (recto), A Farm Among Trees (verso) Italy Pen, brown and black ink 288 x 217 mm On the recto of this sheet, a well-balanced composition depicting an unidentified Italian landscape is one of many sketches from nature by Bartolommeo. It shows a fortified town surrounded by trees and a valley stretching towards … Read more

Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770)

Zephyrus and Flora Venice, about 1750 Pen, brown wash and black chalk on paper 23.9 x 33 cm Tiepelo made this drawing as a study for the principal figures in the ceiling fresco he painted for the Room of Mirrors in the Palazzo Labia in Venice. He also produced a small oil sketch of the … Read more

Nicolaes Maes (1634-1693)

Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath Dutch, about 1670-80 Pen and brown wash 20.5 x 32.5 cm   The subject is from the ‘Kings’, XVII: 10. This drawing shows the biblical story from Kings during which the Lord directs Elijah to the town gates of Zarephath where a widow has been directed to provide him … Read more

ascribed to Pietro Antonio Novelli (1729-1804)

A Music Party Venice, about 1750 Pen and brown wash over black chalk 25 x 37.3 cm This small scale domestic scene, known as a conservation piece, was characteristic of mid 18th century art. In this example from Venice, the music party takes place during the annual carnival – the figure to the left wears … Read more

Lambert Doomer (1622/3-1700)

Rock Dwellings at Saumur on the Loire Dutch, 1646 Pen with grey and brown washes 22.8 x 36.5 cm The inhabitants of a rock dwelling execute their daily tasks. This scene at Saumur is on of a number of drawings made in the Loire Valley by the artist en route from Nantes in 1646. Other … Read more

Francesco Guardi (1712-1793)

A Coastal Scene Venice, the 1770s Pen and brown wash with traces of black chalk 25.1 x 36.9 cm In addition to his topographical views of Venice, Francesco Guardi also produced imaginary landscapes such as this coastal scene from the 1770s. Such drawings repeat the same range of motifs taken from the Venetian lagoon – … Read more

Carlo Maratti (1625-1713)

Study for the Head of St Charles Borromeo Rome, 1658-90 Red chalk heightened with white on blue paper 36.1 x 27.9 cm This drawing is a study for the head of the figure of Saint Carlo Borromeo in the High Altarpiece of the Church of  S. Carlo al Corso, Rome. This study represents Saint Carlo … Read more

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

A Man with an Oar Netherlands, about 1520/21 Pen and brown ink 16 x 10.4 cm  This fine drawing is one of a number of works believed to have been made during Dürer’s trip to the Netherlands in around 1520-21. It was among those taken from the museum of the Lubomirski family, established in the … Read more

Adolph von Menzel (1815-1905)

A Study for ‘Contribution’ Germany, about 1884 Carpenter’s pencil with stumping 22.9 x 15.2 cm  Menzel was the leading master of later nineteenth-century German art. In its deftness and subtlety of line and modelling, it compares with the life drawings of Degas, also represented in the Barber collection. The drawing is a study for the … Read more

Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898)

The Battle of the Beaux and the Belles London, about 1896 Pen and black ink  25.7 x 17.6 cm  This drawing was published in the 1896 edition of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock (1714). Beardsley’s drawing illustrates the moment the heroine Belinda attacks the Baron (opposite) with her fan after discovering he has … Read more

Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)

A Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, ‘Froanna’ (Gladys Anne Hoskins 1900-1979) America, 1940 Pencil and coloured chalks on blue paper 48.3 x 31 cm This portrait of the artist’s wife Gladys Hoskins (1900-1979), known as Froanna, was made in America where Lewis spent the war years. The artist bought the distinctive blue paper in a … Read more

Agostino Carracci (1557-1602)

Sheet of Caricature Heads Parma, 1594 Pen and brown ink on paper 20.2 x 28 cm This sheet of head studies can be viewed in the tradition of physiognomic studies began by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) when conducting anatomical investigations. However, rather than documenting realistic detail, Carracci has reduced his sketched heads to the bare … Read more

Agostino Tassi (1578-1644)

Musicians  Rome, 17th century Pen and brown iron gall ink over black chalk on paper 12.1 x 15.4 cm Three comparable sheets of groups of music-makers are at the British Museum, a group of five standing musicians was with Christie’s in 2003 and three separate figure studies engaged in playing an instrument are at the … Read more

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788)

A Hilly Landscape London, about 1775-80 Black chalk and stump and white chalk on blue paper 270 x 335 mm Gainsborough rarely made drawings as preparation for a painting and at this date he did not work from nature. Instead, landscape drawings such as this were made as private studio exercises in which he manipulated … Read more

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)

The Cirque Fernando – Architectural Study  France, c. 1879 Pencil, black and red chalk on two sheets of joined pink paper A study for the architectural background of ‘La La at the Cirque Fernando’. The Cirque Fernando was built in 1875 in the boulevard Rochechouart, Paris, near the Place Pigalle. Studies for the interior fill … Read more

after Rubens, Peter Paul (1577-1640)

Portrait of Helena Fourment? Antwerp, 1630-1635 Drawing with black and red chalk heightened with white 561 x 351 mm Both the former attribution to Rubens and the identification of the sitter as Helena Fourment are doubtful, and compromised by poor condition. The traditional identification of the sitter as the artist’s second wife stems from the … Read more

George Du Maurier (1834-1869)

The Triumph of Realism British, 1879 Pen, brown ink and pencil on card 254 x 358 mm Du Maurier was a Franco-English illustrator, author and cartoonist. This drawing was made for the satirical magazine Punch (1841-2002). The magazine is responsible for coining the word ‘cartoon’ in its modern sense, as a humorous illustration, rather than … Read more

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8 – 1543)

Design for stained glass About 1520 Pen and grey wash with traces of black chalk 375 x 295 mm Hans Holbein the Younger, later court painter of Henry VIII, made several designs for stained glass windows in his early career. The inclusion of a mitre and crozier suggests that the design was probably made for a … Read more

Probably by Bernardino Lanino (about 1512-1583)

Madonna and Child with Saint Mary Magdalene and a Bishop Possibly Turin, early 1540/43 Black chalk on paper 833 x 900 mm This is a cartoon, or full-scale preparatory drawing, for part of Lanino’s Madonna and Child Adored by Saints altarpiece in the National Gallery, London. This alatrpiece was executed in 1543 for the church … Read more

Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641)

An English Landscape England, 1635-1641 Watercolour and bodycolour with pen on paper 189 x 267 mm Anthony van Dyck is probably best known for his grand oil portraits of Charles I. In this watercolour, however, he proves his mastery of other media and subject matters. The trees in the foreground are lush and green and … Read more

Johann Heinrich Tischbein (1751-1829)

Study from ‘The Massacre of the Innocents’ Rome, about 1780 Black chalk on paper 490 x 365 mm Tischbein made this drawing in Rome during a study trip to Italy (1779-1781). This was a common journey for artists at the time, giving them the chance to study and copy works of Renaissance masters. Here, Tischbein focuses … Read more

OTTO DIX (1891-1969)

Chalk Cliffs in the Sun German, 1916 Black chalk on beige paper 284 x 208 mm The experience of war was a dominant theme in Dix’s work until the 1930s. Taken from a sketchbook compiled during the artist’s service in the German field artillery during the First World War, this drawing depicts a devastated landscape … Read more

Charles Le Brun (1619-1690)

Louis XIV Paris, about 1663 Black, red and white chalk 435 X 352 MM This study of Louis XIV (1638-1715) was drawn from life when the king was aged 25 and had been suffering from scarlet fever.  Le Brun was particularly interested in how a person’s face could reveal their personality. Here the King is … Read more