A Summer of Drawing...

May 1, 2019

Drawing is at the heart of London's summer exhibitions this year. Here we've highlighted 9 of our favourites...


Draw Art Fair, Saatchi Gallery
17th - 19th May

Draw Art Fair London will be the first fair in the UK dedicated to modern and contemporary drawing. It aims to present all facets of drawing as a fundamental practice and to create a platform where rare works by modern masters and recent works from the 21st century will stand side by side. 

Image: Frank Auerbach, Self Portrait IV (2018). Copyright Frank Auerbach/Courtesy Marlborough

For more information click here

Manlio Rho

Who’s Afraid of Drawing? Works on Paper from the Ramo Collection 
The Estorick Collection
17th April - 23rd June

Milan’s Ramo Collection brings together outstanding works from some of the most important movements in twentieth-century Italian art, including images by Umberto Boccioni, Giorgio de Chirico, Lucio Fontana, Alighiero Boetti, Pino Pascali and many more. Assembled by the late Milanese entrepreneur Giuseppe ‘Pino’ Rabolini, it is the largest private collection of modern and contemporary Italian art on paper, comprising almost 600 works. Who’s Afraid of Drawing? presents around 60 pieces from the collection, which is being shown in the UK for the first time. The exhibition explores drawing as more than just a preparatory activity, considering it as an art form in its own right.

Image: Drawing by Manlio Rho (1901 - 1957). Copyright Romo Collection.

For more information click here

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), Woman Sleeping. Brush and brown wash drawing, c. 1654. (Copyright British Museum)

Rembrandt: Thinking on Paper 
7th February - 4th August
British Museum

Marking the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, this collection of rarely seen prints and drawings offers a new view of this Old Master’s ingenuity. The exhibition reveals the immediacy and personal nature of his prints and drawings which, unlike his paintings, were usually made on his own initiative.

Image: Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), Woman Sleeping. Brush and brown wash drawing, c. 1654. (Copyright British Museum)

For more information click here

Henry Moore

Henry Moore Drawings: The Art of Seeing
Henry Moore Foundation
3rd April - 27th October

Henry Moore is best known for his sculpture: for his large scale bronze works on display in cities throughout the world, for his semi-abstact carvings and representations of the female form. But it was, in fact, thanks to an exhibition of his Shelter drawings at the National Gallery in 1942 that Moore first received widespread recognition in Britain. This new exhibition, featuring over 150 drawings, explores his prolific career on paper.

Image: Henry Moore, Head, 1958 (Copyright Henry Moore Foundation)

For more information click here


Leonardo da Vinci: A Life in Drawing
The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace
24th May - 13th October

Leonardo da Vinci died on 2 May 1519, aged 67, at Amboise in central France. He was renowned as a painter, sculptor, architect and engineer, but the full extent of his achievements was unknown to his contemporaries and successors. Many of Leonardo’s projects failed to reach fruition, and his scientific investigations were almost entirely unrecognised in his own day. It is primarily through Leonardo’s drawings and notes that we can begin to understand the man and his achievements. He used his drawings to devise new compositions, to fix fleeting impressions, to test his understanding, to force himself to look in minute detail, and to explore every possible variant of a scenario. Around 550 of Leonardo’s drawings have been kept together as a group since his death, and have been in the Royal Collection since the seventeenth century. The finest 200 of those drawings are presented here.

Image: Leonardo da Vinci, The Head of Leda, Pen and ink over black chalk (Copyright Royal Collection Trust)

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Girl in a Liberty Dress by Clara Drummond, Drawing Year Alumna and winner of the BP Portrait Award 2016

BP Portrait Award 2019, The National Portrait Gallery
13th June - 20th October

The BP Portrait Award 2019 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery from 13 June to 20 October 2019. In its fortieth year at the National Portrait Gallery and thirtieth year of sponsorship by BP it continues to be an unmissable highlight of the annual art calendar.

Image: Girl in a Liberty Dress by Clara Drummond, Drawing Year Alumna and winner of the BP Portrait Award 2016

For more information click here


Manga, British Museum
23rd May - 26th August

Enter a graphic world where art and storytelling collide in the largest exhibition of manga ever to take place outside of Japan. Manga is a visual narrative art form that has become a multimedia global phenomenon, telling stories with themes from gender to adventure, in real or imagined worlds.

Image: Topical Manga (Jiji manga) by Kitazawa Rakuten (1876–1955) (Copyright British Museum)

For more information click here


The Renaissance Nude, Royal Academy
3rd March - 2nd June

Trace the development of the nude through some of the great masters of the Renaissance. Bringing together works by artists such as Titian, Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo, Dürer and Cranach, we shed light on a visual tradition at its most vital moment.

Image: Michelangelo Buonarroti, A Male Nude with Proportions Indicated, Red chalk on paper. 28.9 x 18 cm. (Copyright Royal Collection Trust)

For more information click here


Posy Simmonds: A Retrospective, House of Illustration
24th May - 15th September

Posy Simmonds’ sharp satire and progressive female characters have defined a career spanning 50 years. The exhibition will feature her early-career pastiches, iconic cartoon strips for The Guardian and children’s books such as Fred, which became an Oscar-nominated film. It will also include the first ever British graphic novel, True Love, unseen pages from Tamara Drewe and drawings from Simmonds’ new 2018 book, Cassandra Darke.

Image: Copyright Posy Simmonds

For more information click here

Enjoy your summer of drawing!