Complete Checklist

  • pen and ink drawing of religious figure standing tied to column, drawn twice

    Andrea Mantegna (c. 1431–1506)
    Two Studies for Christ at the Column
    early 1460s
    Pen and brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    This rare study was made in preparation for an engraving. The artist used both sides of the paper to explore ways of depicting the biblical scene of the Flagellation, in which Christ is violently scourged. On the recto (at left), Mantegna shows Christ twice as a muscular nude. His slumped posture, bound hands, and downcast expression convey his human suffering, whereas the heroic body and the halo communicate his divinity.

    Mantegna probably started with the verso of the sheet (at right). Here, Christ's tormentor is depicted in an aggressive stance between two portrayals of Christ in agony. With little concern for detail, Mantegna loosely outlined the figures and experimented with alternative ways of showing Christ's bent, anguished body. The vulnerability of the Son of God deviates from the biblical account of his suffering and its depiction in earlier paintings.

  • pen, ink, and chalk drawing of seated female religious figure, on green paper

    Workshop of Hugo van der Goes (c. 1440?–1485)
    A Seated Female Saint
    c. 1475–85
    Pen, point of the brush and gray ink, heightened with white gouache over preliminary black chalk underdrawing, on green prepared paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    The delicate modeling with light and shade befits the exquisite appearance of this virgin saint, who was probably intended to be Saint Catherine of Alexandria. The figure recurs frequently in early Netherlandish art. Indeed, this drawing is itself a copy of a lost original: faint marks indicate that it was made using a tracing. Clad in a flowing robe royale, the young woman points to the finger on which Christ placed a ring in her vision of their mystic marriage.

  • pen and ink drawing of female religious figure holding an object, drawn twice

    Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519)
    Studies for Saint Mary Magdalene
    c. 1480–82
    Pen and brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Leonardo used drawing as a means of developing compositional ideas. In these two sketches he explored the turning half-length figure of Mary Magdalene in preparation for a devotional painting otherwise only documented in works by the artist's followers. Starting with the larger version, he added the more summary drawing below. There the saint gazes directly at the viewer while lifting the lid of a jar of oil, an attribute that refers to her anointing of Christ's feet.

  • pen and ink drawing of religious figures with infant and animals outside a stable

    Attributed to Giovanni Bellini (?) (active by c. 1459–1516)
    The Nativity
    c. 1480
    Pen and brush and brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Here we are given a close view of the Holy Family, separated by a wicker fence from the sweeping landscape beyond. The drawing's technique is wide ranging, from the precise hatching employed for Joseph and Mary to the free, more loosely drawn shepherds. The artist has worked confidently, moving from left to right. He did, however, make changes as he went. For instance, the ox's tail was drawn over the dog.

  • pen and ink drawing of winged angel in long robes running

    Pinturicchio (c. 1454–1513)
    Study of a Flying Angel
    c. 1481–85
    Silverpoint, pen and brush and brown ink with white gouache, on gray prepared paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Pinturicchio's Flying Angel derives from the Assumption of the Virgin that his teacher, Perugino, painted in the Sistine Chapel (it was later replaced by Michelangelo's Last Judgment). Pinturicchio may have worked on Perugino's commission; this is, however, not a preparatory sketch but a record of the original. The drawing's finesse and delicate details celebrate the skill of its maker, Pinturicchio, as well as Perugino's original invention.

  • pen and ink drawing of seated religious figures seen from behind, one with book

    Vittore Carpaccio (1460/66–1525/26)
    The Virgin Reading to the Infant Christ
    late 1480s–early 1490s
    Pen and dark brown ink over red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Perched on a window ledge, a mother turns from her book to look at her son. Only the haloes and the crown held by the toddler indicate that this is Mary and the infant Christ. The mood is domestic and almost impromptu, as if the sitters have been captured unawares. The back of this sheet (at right) holds another study by the Venetian painter of the Virgin with the Christ Child and Saint John.

  • pen drawing of "Wise Virgin" from bible, depicting woman with long curly hair, holding candle

    Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528)
    A Wise Virgin
    Pen and brown ink on paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Here Dürer depicts one of the Wise Virgins described in the Gospel of Matthew (25:1–13). The subject matter and sophisticated hatching may reference Martin Schongauer's (c. 1435/50–1491) prints illustrating the same biblical parable. These shading techniques may also stem from Dürer's training in the workshop of Michael Wolgemut (1434/7–1519), whose drawings employed similar tonal effects. Dürer's image is charming, yet the clumsily rendered arms and awkwardly twisted torso are visual reminders of the young artist's initial struggles with foreshortening and anatomy.

  • pen and ink drawing of landscape with small human figures in middle ground

    Fra Bartolommeo (1472–1517)
    The Sweep of a River with Fishermen and a Town in the Background
    c. 1505–9
    Pen and brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Fra Bartolommeo is one of the earliest Italian artists to have left a large group of landscape drawings, many of which were composed in preparation for his paintings. This view of Florence from the nearby Tuscan hills features small figures on the embankment of a river that leads toward the city and its prominent cathedral dome. The minimal, light pen strokes suggest that the artist created the work quickly, possibly at the location itself.

  • black chalk drawing of youth sitting with arm atop a table

    Pontormo (1494–1557)
    Seated Youth
    c. 1520
    Black chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    This large study depicts a young boy dressed in the humble apron and breeches of a workshop assistant or garzone. He poses in a gesture of fear, one hand curled into a fist in front of his mouth, his hollow eye sockets and direct gaze amplifying the psychological charge. The stains on the paper suggest that it was kept in the artist's studio.

  • black chalk drawing of seated woman asleep with hand on cheek

    Parmigianino (1503–40)
    Woman Seated on the Ground
    c. 1523–24
    Black chalk and white gouache on light brown tinted paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Parmigianino seems to have made this drawing of a female figure as an experiment in technique and expressive form. Rather than using white solely for highlights, he applied it extensively to the woman's face, hands, and drapery to create volume as well as detail. The contrast between white gouache and black chalk produces a subtle effect of light and dark appropriate to the figure's meditative pose and expression.

  • black chalk drawing of man seated with spherical object with winged figure above

    Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564)
    The Dream (Il Sogno)
    c. 1533
    Black chalk
    Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Samuel Courtauld Trust (Princes Gate Collection), 1981

    Michelangelo's complex allegory shows an idealized nude youth surrounded by worldly vices. A winged being approaches with a trumpet as if to awaken him to a new life. Michelangelo may have presented this drawing to his beloved friend, the young Roman nobleman Tommaso de' Cavalieri. The work immediately became famous among collectors and artists, who copied it numerous times and, exceptionally for a drawing, it acquired a title when the Renaissance biographer Giorgio Vasari named it in 1568.

  • pen and ink drawing of the sea with large waves and ships in distance

    Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525–1569)
    A Storm in the River Schelde with a View of Antwerp
    c. 1559
    Pen and brown ink
    Accepted by HM Government in Lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Samuel Courtauld Trust (Princes Gate Collection), 1981

    Nearly two-thirds of this stormy marine view is devoted to rows of frenetic waves. The variety of strokes, ranging from dashes and squiggles to long, straight lines, is typical of Bruegel's nuanced use of the pen. The distant city stretching along the horizon is very likely Antwerp. The diminutive island surmounted by gallows at upper left is probably imaginary.

  • pen and ink drawing of busy town with dozens of figures performing daily tasks

    Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c. 1525–1569)
    Kermis at Hoboken
    Pen and brown ink, contours incised for transfer
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Lee Bequest, 1947

    Bruegel created this detailed drawing as a design for an engraving. Celebrated for his depictions of peasant life, Bruegel shows revelers at a festival in the Flemish village of Hoboken. At this kermis or church festival of the Longbowmen, the secular and religious coexist. Villagers drink, dance, partake in an archery contest, attend a rhetorician performance, and unashamedly relieve themselves while a religious procession carries a sacred statue aloft.

  • pen and ink drawing of harbor with massive sculpted monument of mythical figure

    Maerten van Heemskerck (1498–1574)
    Colossus of Rhodes
    Pen and brown ink, contours incised for transfer
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    The Colossus of Rhodes was constructed in the third century BC and represented the gilded sun god Helios. Heemskerck has followed later tradition in depicting the massive bronze figure straddling the entrance to the city's harbor. In the foreground, an architect crowned with laurels studies a sketch and supervises a team of craftsmen. This drawing was made as a design for a print.

  • pen and ink drawing of religious figure carrying cross, drawing repeated twice

    Paolo Veronese (1528–88)
    Studies for Christ Carrying the Cross
    c. 1571
    Pen and gray-brown ink and wash
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Many of Veronese's drawings are in pen and ink and were made to assist the artist in developing his compositions. This example is related to a painting of Christ carrying the Cross and records two ideas for the central scene of Christ and his tormentors. Figures and compositions almost merge into one another, conveying a sense of the excitement and speed with which the artist worked.

  • black chalk drawing from behind of man bent over, on one leg, falling forward

    Jacopo Tintoretto (1518–94)
    Study of a Male Figure Bending Forward
    c. 1575–85
    Black chalk, and traces of white chalk, on blue paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    As his biographer Carlo Ridolfi noted, Tintoretto loved to "draw from the live model in all sorts of poses, endowing them with grace." This study is executed in Tintoretto's preferred medium of black chalk on coarsely fibered paper. The model could not have held this position for long, and supports himself with a stick. He was probably also kneeling on a stool, but Tintoretto chose not to represent this prosaic prop in his dynamic drawing.

  • black and red chalk drawing of virgin and child on donkey, drawing repeated twice

    Joseph Heintz (1564–1609)
    Studies for the Flight into Egypt
    c. 1595
    Black, red, and traces of white chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This fluently drawn study of the Holy Family fleeing from persecution is an example of the vibrant draftsmanship of Swiss-born Joseph Heintz. One of the leading artists at the court of Emperor Rudolph II in Prague, Heintz also spent many years in Italy. The mix of red and black chalk, used here to great coloristic effect, is characteristic of Italian art around 1600.

  • pen and ink drawing of figures on coast and in boats

    Johannes Stradanus (1523–1605)
    Pearl Diving
    c. 1596
    Pen and brown ink with wash and white gouache
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This detailed study was made in preparation for a print, published in Antwerp in 1600. It depicts fishermen hunting for pearls in the Persian Gulf. Divers are lowered from rowboats to the ocean floor in search of oysters. The collected shellfish are then shucked and evaluated. An inscription in the lower margin refers to the expedition of the Venetian merchant Gasparo Balbi, who studied local methods of pearl fishing in Persia in 1580.

  • black chalk drawing of man's head in profile with curly hair and beard

    Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
    Head of the Farnese Hercules
    c. 1608–10
    Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on gray paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    In the 1540s fragments of an enormous classical statue of Hercules were excavated in Rome. Reassembled at the Palazzo Farnese, the sculpture represented an ideal of heroic masculinity and quickly became a favorite subject for artists. Rubens studied the work during his stay in Italy between 1601 and 1608. He may, however, have made this close-up view of the mighty head from one of the many casts and copies that were produced.

  • chalk and ink drawing of man and woman seated with skeleton and winged figure

    Abraham Bloemaert (1566–1651)
    Death and the Lovers
    c. 1620–30
    Black chalk, pen, and brown ink, brown and red washes, traces of white gouache
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This moralizing drawing, finished to a high degree with lavish washes, shows a soldier seducing a young woman. Distracted by her sensuousness, he is unaware of the skeletal legs beneath her skirt and of the figure of Death poised to strike with his arrow. A devil hovers above ready to claim his soul. The hourglass, lute, and mirror further underscore the brevity and vanity of mortal life.

  • red chalk drawing of child seen from behind, between mother's knees

    Guercino (1591–1666)
    A Child Seen from Behind, Standing Between His Mother's Knees
    c. 1625
    Red chalk with stumping
    11.9 x 80.3 inches
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This unusually intimate image of motherly care demonstrates Guercino's masterly use of red chalk. It draws much of its quality from the contrast between the delicately modeled body of the infant, whose soft skin is rendered by the smudging and stumping of the chalk, and the freely but precisely sketched folds of the mother's sheltering garments.

  • red chalk drawing of elderly man tied to a tree, with another figure crouched

    Jusepe de Ribera (c. 1590–1652)
    Man Tied to a Tree, and a Figure Resting
    c. 1630–35
    Red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    The bound male figure is a recurring theme in Ribera's art. This subtle study may represent the suffering and steadfastness of an unidentified elderly saint. Extending his disproportionately long arm, he seems to address someone beyond the scene. The relationship between the saint and the hunched man at the bottom of the tree remains ambiguous, but they seem to be conceived as contrasting figures.

  • black, red, and white chalk drawing of woman with dark headpiece

    Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
    Helena Fourment
    c. 1630–31
    Black, red, and white chalk (retouched with pen and brown ink in some details of the head and headdress)
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Having been a widower for four years, Rubens married Helena Fourment, the sixteen-year-old daughter of an Antwerp silk merchant, in December 1630. This portrait of Rubens's new bride presents Helena near life size in splendid attire, holding what appears to be a prayer book. She is shown lifting or catching her veil, which would have been suspended from the top of her striking headdress, to address the viewer with an unwavering gaze.

  • pen and ink drawing of church interior, with pillars and arches

    Pieter Saenredam (1597–1665)
    The South Ambulatory of St. Bavokerk, Haarlem
    Pen and brown ink with gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on blue paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    Saenredam planned his many paintings of church interiors in drawings, usually beginning with a freehand sketch. This characteristic example presents the south ambulatory of Haarlem's gothic church viewed from the central crossing of the nave. Using the blue paper as a midtone, the artist adds touches of white to capture the play of light on the bare stone surfaces. He includes a single figure to convey the scale of the imposing space.

  • red chalk drawing of woman and child

    Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Saskia(?) Sitting Up in Bed, Holding a Child
    c. 1635
    Red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    This sketch of a mother glimpsed from behind bed curtains cradling a newborn child almost certainly depicts the artist's wife, Saskia, probably with the couple's firstborn son, Rumbartus, who died in infancy. Rembrandt frequently drew such intimate scenes of daily life as reference material for his paintings and prints. The rapid strokes of soft red chalk suggest the spontaneity with which he recorded this tender moment.

  • graphite, chalk, and ink drawing of landscape with hills and trees, buildings

    Claude Lorrain (1600–82)
    Landscape with Trees and Buildings
    c. 1640–46
    Graphite, brown and gray wash, black chalk, brush, and dark brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Born in the French region of Lorraine, Claude established himself in Rome as a highly innovative landscape painter. His distinctive drawings are characterized by a thoughtful mixture of media. In his depiction of trees on this study sheet the contrast and variation of graphite, chalk, ink, and wash convey a sense of texture and volume as well as the interaction between light and shadow.

  • black ink drawing of two men in hats, one gesturing with hand

    Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669)
    Two Men in Discussion
    Quill and reed pen in brown ink, with corrections in white gouache
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    In this sheet Rembrandt uses both a quill and a reed pen, reworking the finer, fluid lines of the former with the thicker, heavier strokes of the latter. The combination lends weight to the figures and a greater intensity of light and shadow. The vaguely exotic costumes worn by the figures could have been inspired by fantasy or by the attire of the many foreign merchants residing in seventeenth-century Amsterdam.

  • red and black chalk drawing of landscape with wooden fence

    Pieter de Molyn (1595–1661)
    Landscape with Travelers on a Road
    Red chalk over black chalk, with gray and brown wash
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This signed sheet, most likely conceived as an independent work, presents a landscape typical of the environs of Haarlem. The distinctly Dutch setting is marked by a winding country road leading travelers to the nearby dunes that define the region's coastline. Combining red and black chalk with pale wash, Molyn explores the possibilities for rendering light and shadow in a limited color palette.

  • pen and ink drawing of exterior of ornate building with columns and sculptures

    Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1589–1680)
    The Louvre, East Façade (study for the First Project)
    Pen and brown ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Blunt Bequest, 1984

    In 1664, Bernini took part in a competition to design the east façade of the palace of the Louvre in Paris, which Louis XIV wished to complete. This freehand drawing shows Bernini's initial proposal for the façade, featuring a central oval pavilion. Bernini's unusually animated design was rejected in favor of Claude Perrault's plan for a linear row of columns on a raised pavilion.

  • black and red chalk drawing of standing man with large dark hat

    Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
    Carmelite Friar, Standing
    c. 1715
    Black and red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    As the empty bag over his left shoulder suggests, this young lay brother of the Discalced Carmelite order is setting out to collect alms. Watteau first outlined the figure in red chalk before working up the contours in red and black, using both chalks as well as the neutral tone of the paper to suggest the various layers and folds of the friar's woolen habit, as well as the light falling across his downcast eyes and double chin.

  • black, red, and white chalk drawing of nude man holding bottle

    Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
    Satyr Pouring Wine
    Black, red, and white chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Watteau rarely made preparatory drawings for specific figures in his paintings, but this vigorous study of a satyr with wineskins in both hands is an exception. It relates to a lost composition of Autumn, part of a decorative series of the Four Seasons commissioned for the dining room of the banker Pierre Crozat. The paintings were intended to be viewed from below, which dictated the curve of the satyr's body and his intense downward gaze.

  • black chalk drawing of boy and elderly bearded man

    Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1683–1754)
    The Head of a Boy and of an Old Man
    c. 1739–40
    Black chalk heightened with white chalk, on gray paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This close-up view of a bearded magus and a young man reading is an example of the "character head" — a type of independent drawing pioneered by Piazzetta and prized by his early eighteenth-century collectors. The artist has aligned the boy's focused gaze with the man's pointing finger as it presses emphatically on the page.

  • pen, ink, and watercolor image of students in gallery drawing live models

    Charles-Joseph Natoire (1700–77)
    The Life Class at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture
    Pen, black and brown ink, gray wash and watercolor, and traces of graphite, over black chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    As a history painter, Natoire was obliged to instruct students at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris; here he has depicted himself in a red cloak at lower left correcting a pupil’s drawing. Other students are shown making life studies from the two nude models posed on the table in the center. The paintings on the walls and casts of antique statues, including the Farnese Hercules seen from the back at left and the Medici Venus opposite, serve as venerable prototypes.

  • pen and ink drawing of city with river and boats

    Canaletto (1697–1768)
    A View from Somerset Gardens Looking towards London Bridge
    c. 1746–55
    Pen, brown ink, and gray wash
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    In 1746, Canaletto traveled to England and over the following decade produced a record of mid-Georgian London. In this finished work, drawn as a collector's item, London is seen from above the terrace of Old Somerset House, designed by Inigo Jones in the 1630s (and, since 1989, home to the Courtauld Institute). Stairs lead to the Thames. In the distance at right are the arches of Old London Bridge, while St. Paul's Cathedral towers above a skyline dotted with spires.

  • pen and ink drawing of two figures and infant, one holding book

    Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696–1770)
    The Holy Family with Saint Joseph Reading
    c. 1757
    Pen, brown ink, and gray brown wash
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    During the late 1750s Tiepolo produced as many as seventy drawings of the Holy Family. This freshly preserved composition is both monumental and tender, as Mary cares for the Christ Child while Joseph reads a book. Washes of varying intensity model the figures, creating transparent shadows and deep pockets of shade on the luminous sheet.

  • red chalk drawing of woman in tree-filled landscape

    Hubert Robert (1733–1808)
    Terrace in an Italian Garden
    c. 1760
    Red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    Robert is known for his large red-chalk landscape drawings conceived as independent works. This view of an overgrown garden, populated by classical statuary and a pair of laundresses with a child, was long attributed to Robert's contemporary Jean-Honoré Fragonard; in the early 1760s both artists worked side by side in the environs of Rome.

  • chalk and ink drawing of landscape with cattle at dusk

    Thomas Gainsborough (1727–88)
    Landscape with Cattle on a Road Running through a Wooded Valley
    Black chalks, India ink wash and white gouache, on light brown tinted paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    Gainsborough's free and fluid handling of black chalk is evident in this late sheet. He does not record an actual location, but invents a generalized view of nature to evoke a pastoral ideal. Not intended for public viewing, Gainsborough's drawings were collected by connoisseurs who appreciated these private exercises of the imagination.

  • watercolor and ink image of a round castle tower in a landscape with river

    John Robert Cozens (1752–99)
    Castel Sant'Angelo, Rome
    Watercolor and gray ink washes over graphite
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Spooner Bequest, 1967

    An imposing fortress and prison on the banks of the Tiber River, the Castel Sant'Angelo was a favorite subject for artists working in Rome in the eighteenth century. Cozens has eliminated incidental detail, emphasizing instead the castle's forbidding bulk and its reflection in the water.

  • red chalk drawing of young woman seated, looking to the right

    Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806)
    Young Girl Seated
    Red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    The subject of this drawing is most probably Fragonard's sixteen-year-old daughter, Rosalie, who died three years later in 1788. Fragonard has allowed the irregularities of the chalk to dictate the quality of his marks, from the vigorous strokes in the sitter's bodice to the softer, less distinct lines of her slipping shawl. The drawing is signed and dated "frago.1785" at lower left; the date was read incorrectly as "1765" when the decorative cartouche was added by a later owner.

  • ink and watercolor image of seascape with clouds and town in distance

    Thomas Girtin (1775–1802)
    View of Appledore, North Devon, from Instow Sands
    c. 1798 (or 1800?)
    Brown ink and watercolor with touches of gouache over graphite, on coarse wrapping paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    Taking full advantage of the translucence of watercolor, Girtin builds up the design in distinct layers, allowing each stage of the composition's development to remain visible. Girtin's approach flouted contemporary academic practice, which encouraged artists to disguise all evidence of their labor. The coarse paper imparts a grainy texture to this beach scene.

  • watercolor, ink, and graphite drawing of landscape with large hills

    Francis Towne (1739–1816)
    The Forest of Radnor, with the Black Mountains in the Distance
    Watercolor, gouache, and gray ink washes, with some drawing with the point of the brush and pen in dark gray ink, over graphite
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Spooner Bequest, 1967

    The Forest of Radnor, a plateau in Wales used as a royal hunting ground in the medieval period, looms against clouds. Towne rendered the scene with his characteristically restricted palette of grays, greens, and blues. His delineation of form verges on abstraction, with detail excised in favor of planes of carefully modulated color. To create the long narrow format, Towne joined two sheets of a sketchbook.

  • graphite drawing of reclining nude from behind, head not finished

    Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867)
    Study for La Grande Odalisque
    Samuel Courtauld Trust, purchased with the assistance of The Art Fund and V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1995

    This nude is a preparatory study for Ingres's painting La Grande Odalisque, commissioned by Queen Caroline Murat of Naples for her private apartments, now in the Louvre. When the painting was exhibited in Paris in 1819, critics attacked the figure for having "neither bones, nor muscles, nor blood, nor life." In this study, however, the artist concentrated on the weight and mass of the model's back, buttocks, and thigh, creating an almost sculptural sense of volume.

  • graphite drawing of church building in ruins

    John Constable (1776–1837)
    East Bergholt Church, from the Southwest
    c. 1815–17
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Spooner Bequest, 1967

    Constable was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk. The local church, St. Mary’s, appears more often in the artist’s oeuvre than any other subject. This drawing of the unfinished tower is unusual in its size and finish, as Constable preferred to make small on-the spot studies in sketchbooks.

  • eleven pen and ink drawings of various figures and subject matter

    Théodore Géricault (1791–1824)
    Sheet of Figure Studies
    c. 1817–18
    Pen and two shades of brown ink over graphite
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    This sheet of studies may have originally formed part of a sketchbook. Most of the groups, arranged in three rows, are reminiscences of military life under Napoleon. For example, the central frieze of figures at the bottom of the sheet shows a group of soldiers transporting large blocks of stone roped to a makeshift cart. This might relate to the unsuccessful storming of the citadel of Acre at the beginning of Napoleon's Egyptian campaign in 1799.

  • ink drawing of woman playing guitar with figure below looking up her skirts

    Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828)
    Singing and Dancing (Cantar y Bailar)
    c. 1819–20
    Point of the brush and black ink, with scraping
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    An old crone is shown floating in the air, strumming a guitar and singing with an open mouth, while another woman sits on the ground, holding her nose and gazing up her companion's skirts. The spoon and bowl at lower left may imply that a magical substance caused the singing woman's levitation. Later in his career Goya filled several of his private albums with imaginative inventions, ranging from the sinister to the ironic.

  • watercolor and chalk image of house on pond with hill in distance

    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
    Colchester, Essex
    c. 1825–26
    Watercolor, white and colored chalks, and gouache, with scraping
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Gift in memory of Sir Stephen Courtauld, 1974

    In 1825 Turner was commissioned to produce designs for a series of engravings. Colchester shows the artist grappling with the challenges of producing watercolors intended for engraving. He developed a technique of layering careful finishes of stippling over color washes. The figures chasing a hare allude to the witch hunts that took place in Colchester during the English Civil War: according to rural tradition, witches could transform themselves into hares.

  • watercolor and red chalk image of seascape with red clouds, dog, and moon

    Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851)
    Dawn after the Wreck
    c. 1841
    Watercolor, gouache, and touches of red chalk with some rubbing out and scraping
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Gift in memory of Sir Stephen Courtauld, 1974

    In spite of its title — invented by the Victorian critic John Ruskin — this watercolor does not directly depict the aftermath of a shipwreck. Several elements do, however, imbue the coastal scene with a sense of solitude and even despair: the intense crimson clouds, the “feeble blood-stain on the sand” (to quote Ruskin), and the lone howling dog.

  • graphite drawing of standing female nude, drawn twice in different poses

    Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863)
    Sheet with Two Studies of a Female Nude
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    The nudes juxtaposed in this study relate to different projects on which Delacroix was engaged in the late 1840s. The figure combing her hair on the left is a preparatory sketch for Le Lever, a small painting inspired by Goethe's drama Faust and exhibited at the Salon of 1850–51. Delacroix's inscription at the bottom of the sheet suggests that the figure on the right represents Eve reaching for the apple.

  • black chalk, watercolor, and ink image of man on sickbed with two standing men

    Honoré Daumier (1808–79)
    Le Malade imaginaire (The Hypochondriac)
    c. 1850
    Black chalks, black ink wash, watercolor and touches of gouache, with pen and point of the brush in brown and black-gray ink
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Samuel Courtauld Gift, 1934 

    Known for his acerbic caricatures, Honoré Daumier here interprets a scene from Molière's Malade imaginaire. A patient is visited by a doctor, who lectures self-importantly at the bedside. Terrified, the miserable man focuses his attention on the doctor's assistant, who holds an exaggeratedly large clyster, used to administer an enema.

  • red chalk drawing of seated woman holding towel to her chest

    Édouard Manet (1832–83)
    La Toilette
    Red chalk, contours incised for transfer
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Bequest, 1948

    Manet made this drawing in preparation for an etching, reversed as part of the printing process. The central figure's contours have been incised for transfer to the copper plate. The use of red chalk — unusual by the mid-nineteenth century — and the time-honored subject of the female bather reveal Manet's engagement with predecessors such as Rembrandt, whose works he admired. This preliminary drawing shows him experimenting with the position and pose of the figure behind the bather. Traces of his initial ideas are visible at upper left.

  • black crayon drawing of standing nude with one foot raised to opposite knee

    Georges Seurat (1859–91)
    Female Nude
    c. 1879–81
    Black Conté crayon over stumped graphite
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Bequest, 1948

    This female nude — one of very few Seurat drew — emerges from deep shadows. The contours of her body are defined by shading and stumping rather than by hard outlines. In contrast to the stillness of the figure, the background, composed of a web of vigorous crayon marks, vibrates with energy. The model's conventional pose suggests that this work may have been made in a life class, where her raised knee and hands would have rested on a chair.

  • graphite drawing of seated woman sewing at a table

    Paul Cézanne (1839–1906)
    Hortense Fiquet (Madame Cézanne) Sewing
    c. 1880
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978 

    In this pencil drawing of his companion and future wife, Cézanne explored the compositional possibilities of line and blank space. He laid in the figure with a combination of blocks of shading and blank areas. Daringly, the central section around the sitter's hands is left bare, although it is apparent that she is sewing; the viewers must therefore complete the picture in their mind's eye.

  • charcoal, chalk, and pastel image of seated woman in black adjusting hair

    Edgar Degas (1834–1917)
    Woman Adjusting Her Hair
    c. 1884
    Charcoal, chalk, and pastel, on two sheets of buff-colored paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Bequest, 1948

    This elegantly posed woman adjusting her hair may be a customer in a milliner's shop. Degas has rendered her in bold strokes of charcoal highlighted with luminous areas of pastel. The model's sinuous posture and the unusual angle contribute to the drawing's expressive power. Extensive alterations indicate that Degas rethought his initial ideas. The earlier design is visible along the curve of the model's back and right arm.

  • pen and ink drawing of farm with tractor and field

    Vincent van Gogh (1853–90)
    A Tile Factory
    Pen and brown ink over graphite
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Bequest, 1948

    Van Gogh made this drawing of a tile factory at the edge of a plowed field during his sojourn in Arles in 1888. Using reed pens of varying thickness, he rendered the scene with a wide range of marks similar to those used in his paintings, from short flecks suggesting leaves or stubble in the foreground to thinner lines denoting the factory roof. A grid, drawn in pencil, is faintly visible underneath the ink and probably was used by the artist to establish the perspective.

  • graphite and black chalk drawing of figure lying in bed

    Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901)
    In Bed
    c. 1896
    Graphite and black chalk on laid paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Samuel Courtauld Bequest, 1948

    Submerged in crumpled sheets, a woman lies in bed, barely awake. Only her face and stockinged feet are visible from beneath the bedclothes. Lautrec most likely drew the model — almost certainly a prostitute — from life. The slant of the model's gaze shows an awareness of the artist's presence and underscores the air of familiarity — indeed sympathy — with which Lautrec depicted society's outsiders.

  • graphite and watercolor image of apples, bottle, glass, and chair

    Paul Cézanne (1839–1906)
    Apples, Bottle, and Chairback
    c. 1904–6
    Graphite and watercolor on wove paper
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Samuel Courtauld Bequest, 1948 

    This still life consists of a blue and white faience dish, filled with apples, placed at the center of the table. Five apples sit apart; a sixth seems to be about to join them. At left, a bottle with its neck truncated glows almost black; in front is a tall wine glass, painted blue to reflect the hues of the faience plate. Anchoring the composition in the background is the ornamental back of a wooden chair, which frames a view of the colored wallpaper in the background.

  • graphite drawing of seated woman with shirt open, wearing cap

    Henri Matisse (1869–1954)
    Seated Woman
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Samuel Courtauld Gift, 1935 

    © 2012 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    This is a preparatory drawing for the painting The Black Table, which Matisse produced in the summer of 1919, and depicts a young woman lounging in a wicker chair. The nineteen-year-old Antoinette Arnoux served as the model, and this drawing studies her at a level of detail that is lessened in the painting.


    * Reproduction, including downloading of Henri Matisse works, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

  • charcoal drawing of standing female nude with arm on chair

    Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
    Female Nude with Her Arm Resting on a Chair
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978 

    © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Monumentally conceived figures appear frequently in Picasso's work of the early 1920s. This female nude, towering over a chair, was first planned as a smaller figure, perhaps partially draped, as the emphatic curved strokes across her middle indicate. The outlines of this initial figure are clearly visible, for instance below the contour of the shoulders. Picasso modeled the figure by lightly smudging the friable charcoal on the paper, giving it a sense of volume.


    *Reproduction, including downloading of Pablo Picasso works, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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