The Old Master drawings collection is a celebration of the act of drawing.  The scope of periods, media, and styles represented is both broad and bold.  The selected artists range from François Boucher to Anonymous.  The collection encompasses an impressive selection and wide range of genre and artists, including École Française, École Italienne, Dutch, Flemish, and British material from the seventeenth to the twentieth century. 

Although the artists who created them never intended for their drawings to be collected – seeing them as mere sketches to be discarded – these sheets have, in modern times, come to be considered complete works in and of themselves.  Beginning in Europe in the latter part of the nineteenth century, this inspired trend to enjoy these thoughtful and often times emotive gestures put down on paper spawned a rich tradition of collecting.

This tradition has, in turn, provided a glimpse into the private understandings of the artists themselves.  This has allowed people to experience the thought processes behind the works of such masters as Michelangelo, da Vinci, and David.  Thus, these revealing sheets expose facets of the “artist” never otherwise accessible.

Though drawings have been appreciated since the Renaissance, the tradition of connoisseurship had not begun until the eve of the 18th century.  In 1910, America gained its first significant drawings collection when financier and collector Pierpont Morgan brought Charles Fairfax Murphy’s impressive collection of Old Master drawings to New York.  This acquisition included the works of such artists as Nicholas Poussin and Honoré Fragonard.  Today, this legacy of connoisseurship continues with Masterworks and the debut of its Master Drawings Collection.

 
TITLE: Sibyl ou Sabine, L’École de David Year: c. 1730 Medium: Red chalk drawing Image size: 15 ¾  x 20 ½

TITLE: Sibyl ou Sabine, L’École de David
Year: c. 1730
Medium: Red chalk drawing
Image size: 15 ¾  x 20 ½

Anonyme, (18th Century), France

Title: Study in Rome Year: c. 1839 Medium: Charcoal and Red Chalk drawing on rare Venice Blue Paper Image size: 25 x 15

Title: Study in Rome
Year: c. 1839
Medium: Charcoal and Red Chalk drawing on rare Venice Blue Paper
Image size: 25 x 15

Jean-Baptiste Frenet

Title: Untitled Year: c. 1885 Medium: Pastel with traces of graphite on paper  Image size: 14 x 23

Title: Untitled
Year: c. 1885
Medium: Pastel with traces of graphite on paper 
Image size: 14 x 23

A. Abert

Title: Bottes de foin et coquelicots dans un pre / Haystacks and poppies in a field Year: c. 1914 Medium: Pastel on gray blue paper Image size: 18 x 12

Title: Bottes de foin et coquelicots dans un pre / Haystacks and poppies in a field
Year: c. 1914
Medium: Pastel on gray blue paper
Image size: 18 x 12

Paule Gobillard