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The Prints and Drawings Study Room

The Prints and Drawings Study Room houses our fine collection of prints, drawings and watercolours, comprising more than 1,000 works and six centuries of the draughtsman’s and printmaker’s arts.

The study room is open to researchers and the general public by appointment only.

Due to essential building improvement works, the Prints and Drawings Study Room is currently closed to the public until summer 2024.

For research enquires please email: collections@barber.org.uk

Images inside the coin and print study room at The Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham.

We have outstanding drawings in our collection by varied artists such as Tess Jaray, Fra Bartolommeo, Rembrandt van Rijn, JMW Turner, Edgar Degas and Gwen John.

Prints include exceptional works by Albrecht Dürer, Francisco Goya, Italian and Flemish Renaissance masters and 19th-century and 20th-century artists from Pablo Picasso and Elizabeth Frink to Käthe Kollwitz.

Many of our prints and drawings can be viewed on our website, or on the University's Online Collections. We are still in the process of digitising our full collection of works on paper, so please bear with us.

A rotating selection of works on paper are displayed in our dedicated Print Bays (located in the Green and Beige galleries) – typically there are six print displays a year.

Explore our prints and drawings online:

KÄTHE KOLLWITZ (1867-1945)

The Young Couple (Junges Paar) Berlin, 1904 Etching and Aquatint 290 x 310 mm plate size   Printed by Otto Felsing, Berlin; published by Emil Richter. Proof, with margins, signed by the artist. Purchased 2018 (Inv. No. 2018.1)ShareTweetSharePin

Ascribed to Paulus Potter (1625-1654)

An Old Horse Netherlands, about 1650 Black chalk Sheet 227 x 229 mm; mount 632 x 517 mm This drawing is undated but could relate to Potter’s Book of Horses of 1652 in which there are images of horses in a similar style. Potter’s small sketches are particularly sensitive and concentrate on depicting animals in … Read more

Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

The Chain of the Alps from Grenoble to Chambéri British, 1812 Etching, with mezzotint by W. Say 186 x 288 mm This plate appeared in the tenth part of the Liber Studiorum series, and is based on sketches made during Turner’s 1802 European tour. He travelled specifically to see the Alps and this print belongs … Read more

Jacques-Philippe Lebas (1707-1783) after Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779)

Le Négligé Paris, 1741 Engraving Paper: 38.6 x 27.4 cm; mount: 63 x 51.5 cm Lebas’ print reproduces ‘The Morning Toilette’, painted by Chardin (1669-1779) in 1741. Many of Chardin’s pictures were of domestic interiors, scenes of childhood and maternal love, all of which were fashionable with 18th-century French audiences. Here, a young girl glances … Read more

Jan van de Velde (c.1593-1641)

The Seasons: Autumn Enkhuizen, 1617 Etching Paper 265 x 350 mm; mount 405 x 557 mm This etching of a landscape during autumn in Holland is part of a series of the seasons made by Jan van de Velde in 1617. Jan van de Velde derived from a family of painters, engravers, etchers, and printmakers who had a profound … Read more

Gaspard Dughet (1615-1675)

Four landscapes Engraving 225 x 210 mm Purchased 1954 (No.55.1/4) ShareTweetSharePin

IMAGE LIBRARY

Images and Reproduction Rights Welcome to The Barber Institute of Fine Arts Image Library The Barber Institute Image Library undertakes photography of works from the collection and supplies images in accordance with the following scale of charges and subject to our terms and conditions of use, found at the end of the Image Request forms … Read more

Charles-François Daubigny (1817-1878)

The Beach at Villerville France, 1850 Etching Plate: 125 x 215 mm; paper: 195 x 165; mount: 405 x 555 mm This peaceful scene presents groups of workers – men fishing in a small boat to the right while women collect shells from rock pools – whose survival was dependent on the sea. In the … 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

Adriaen van de Velde (1636-1672)

A grazing cow with two sheep 1670 Etching Paper 134 x 179 mm; mount 406 x 557 mm Purchased 1956 (No.56.16) ShareTweetSharePin

Edward Lear (1812-1888)

Tabuan Parakeet British, 1832 Coloured lithograph Paper: 53.6 x 37.5 cm; mount: 71.5 x 53 cm  Purchased 2006 (No. 2006.4) ShareTweetSharePin

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

The Dance in the Country  France, date unknown Soft-ground etching Purchased 1959 (No. 59.9) ShareTweetSharePin

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 with … Read more

Lovis Corinth (1858-1925)

Christ on the Cross (Christus am Kreuz) Berlin, 1919 Woodcut Plate: 51 x 43 m; mount: 73 x 59 cm  Christ is shown at his crucifixion, his head crowned by a searing sun and his body scored by the deep lines carved in the wood. Corinth uses chaotic hatched lines to emphasis Christ’s emaciated body … Read more

Antonio da Trento (about 1508 – after 1550)

The Tiburtine Sibyl and Augustus Italy, 1527-1530 Chiaroscuro woodcut 337 × 254 mm This woodcut depicts the legend of Sibyl (a female prophet) who revealed a vision of the Virgin and Christ, the child who would eclipse all the Roman gods, to Emperor Augustus. This tale, featured in The Golden Legend  connected Ancient and Christian … Read more

Valentine Green (1739-1813)

Miravan Breaking Open the Tomb of His Ancestors London, 1772 Mezzotint, third state 528 x 391 mm Joseph Wright of Derby (1734-1797) painted the original of this work in 1772 and regarded it as one of his finest paintings. The tale of Miravan was penned by the poet John Gilbert Cooper, who reworked the Greek historian Herodotus’ account … Read more

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione (around 1610-1664)

The Discovery of the Bodies of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Genoa, around 1645-1651 Etching Plate: 300 x 206 mm Mount: 557 x 404 mm Castiglione’s depictions of Biblical scenes are often engulfed by darkness; he was known to seek out religious subjects that required such tenebrism. His primary influence is often listed as Rembrant, … Read more

Schelte Adamsz Bolswert (c. 1586-1659), after Peter Paul Rubens

The Lion Hunt Flanders, late 1620s Engraving with etching 428 x 596 mm This violent and dramatic hunting scene, after a painting by Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640), shows horses, men and wild beasts masterfully entwined, the range of facial expressions and contorted poses portraying the fury and fierce determination of each. The central horse, legs outstretched, … Read more

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)

Loyalty, Plate 17 from ‘The Proverbs’ Spain, about 1816 Etching with aquatint and drypoint 244 X 357 MM Goya’s final series of etchings, The Proverbs (Los Proverbios), also known as Disparetes or Absurdities, remain his most mysterious and enigmatic. Featuring a group of monks and friars, Loyalty appears to be concerned with the licentious behaviour … Read more

Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945)

Woman with dead child Berlin, 1903 Etching 425 X 490 mm The stark, animal-like figure of a woman passionately embraces the corpse of a young boy. In 1914 this became reality for the artist when her younger son, the model for the dead boy, died in the early months of the First World War. The … Read more

Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)

St John devouring the Book  Nuremberg, 1498 Woodcut Paper: 388 x 282 mm; mount: 556 x 405 mm This rather grotesque and ludicrous scene showing St John the Apostle trying to swallow a book given to him by an angel is another ecstatic vision experienced by St John in the Apocalypse series. St John’s apocalyptic … Read more

Andrea Zucchi (1679-1740) after Tintoretto (c.1518-1594)

Raccolta di opere scelte: Jacob’s ladder Venice, c. 1720 Engraving Title page and 59 engravings after mainly Venetian paintings published by Teodoro Viero, Venice, 1786. The majority of the plates are by Le Febvre, S. Maniago, A. Zucchi, and P. Monaco. Purchased in London, March 1956 for £7 (No. 56.10/22) ShareTweetSharePin

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

Emil Nolde (1867-1956)

Prophet Berlin, 1912 Woodcut 49.5 x 36.5 cm; mount 73 x 59 cm In this deliberately roughly-cut woodcut of an unnamed prophet, the thick hair and beard merge with the blackness of the background. Nolde pursued a unique spiritual path and sought to express his own, truly German, art. Purchased 1996 (No. 96.5) ShareTweetSharePin

Hubert Robert (1733-1808)

Study of a Tree with a Figure Paris, about 1780 Red chalk, over squaring in black chalk, on paper 385 x 524 mm Robert was a garden designer as well as a painter and trees formed an important part of his landscape subjects. He was also a prolific draughtsman, invariably using red chalk, a medium … Read more

John Leech (1817-1864)

Hunting Incidents of ‘The Noble Science’: A Friendly Mount, Plate 4 1865 Lithograph 445 x 595 mm Purchased 1944 (No.44.6/3) ShareTweetSharePin

REMBRANDT HARMENSZ VAN RIJN (1606-1669)

Self-Portrait with Saskia Amsterdam, 1636 Etching Rembrandt and his wife Saskia are shown in historical dress in this self portrait from the 1630s. Well known for making self-portraits throughout his life, this etching shows the artist during his most prosperous decade before the tragic death of his wife and 3 of his 4 children. The … Read more

Andrea Zucchi (1679-1740) after Tintoretto (c.1518-1594)

Raccolta di opere scelte: The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Venice, published 1786 Engraving Title page and 59 engravings after mainly Venetian paintings published by Teodoro Viero, Venice, 1786. The majority of the plates are by Le Febvre, S. Maniago, A. Zucchi, and P. Monaco. Purchased in London, March 1956 for £7 (No. 56.10/18) ShareTweetSharePin

Fra Bartolommeo (1472-1517)

The Madonna and Child with Saints (recto); Two Figures (verso) Florence, about 1509 Black and yellow chalk heightened on white tinted paper 260 x 196 mm On the recto of this sheet there is a preparatory drawing for Fra Bartolommeo’s altarpiece in the church of San Marco in Florence. The altarpiece was painted by Fra … Read more

Caspar Johann Nepomuk Scheuren (1818-1887)

The Castle by the Sea Düsseldorf, 1858 Watercolour over pen and pencil, partly heightened with white and gold 47.2 x 60.5 cm This depiction of Ludwig Uhland’s poem of the same name creates an atmosphere of melancholy and nostalgia typical of Romantic art. The king and queen, dressed in black in the middle frame, are … Read more

The Prints and Drawing Study Room was created with the financial support of the DCMS/Wolfson Museums Improvement Fund.