Special displays Archive

French drawings of the
19th century


21 February – 25 May 2008

Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)Winter landscape, Eragny graphite and watercolour Dorothy Scharf Bequest, 2007


An exquisite selection of 19th century French drawings from the Courtauld’s rich collection of works on paper is on show in the Gallery from until 25 May 2008.  Presenting some 18 works from across the span of the 19th century, this special display will provide an opportunity to study several renowned painters and sculptors in their lesser known capacity as draughtsmen, a particularly intimate side of their creative work.  

The selection starts with a juxtaposition of works by the eminent classicist Jean-Auguste Ingres (1780-1867), whose highly stylised linear drawings aim for ideal beauty, and his fervent antagonists the romanticists Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) and Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), whose energetic drawings express passion and movement.  Among the later works are Edouard Manet’s (1832-83) La Toilette, a rare study in red chalk depicting a young woman at her bath executed in preparation of a print, Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s (1841-1919) large pastel of a woman wearing a veil and Camille Pissarro’s (1830-1903) watercolour of a snow covered landscape sketched in the painter’s home village, Eragny.  This atmospheric work will be exhibited for the first time since it entered the Courtauld’s collection in 2007 as part of the Dorothy Scharf bequest.

The display concludes with characteristic studies of two important Post-Impressionists: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s (1864-1901) striking blue crayon sketch for a portrait of a lady and Paul Gauguin’s (1848-1903) enigmatic depiction of a Tahitian man and woman.