Drawings & Pastels

Drawing is a type of graphic art created with lines and areas of tone applied to paper usually with pencil, charcoal and coloured pencil, but a wash may also be applied.

They frequently serve as preparatory studies for other works, but are also considered works of art in their own right. A practitioner of drawing is known as a draughtsman.

Pastels are created using a stick made of pure pigment and a binder.

A key part of the general art market, both are also specialist collecting areas in their own right.


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Faces from Cecil Beaton’s book of the beautiful people

01 June 2020

Turning heads at Bonhams Knightsbridge’s sale of Modern British art was a group of 22 pen and ink drawings by Cecil Beaton (1904-80) which formed part of the photographer’s 'The Book of Beauty' published in 1930.

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Illustrations: Potter and Shepard’s animal magic

26 May 2020

One New York saleroom that has been notably active in the book market during the Covid restrictions is Doyle (25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium). A recent sale included original illustrations for some well-known English children’s books.

Daisy Fellowes by Cecil Beaton

Cecil Beaton sketches turn heads at Bonhams auction

19 May 2020

The latest sale of Modern British art held by Bonhams in Knightsbridge was its first live event held ‘behind closed doors’ in the UK. It included 22 pen and ink drawings by Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) which formed part of the famous photographer’s ‘The Book of Beauty’ published in 1930.

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Cartoons by late Astérix creator Albert Uderzo to be auctioned for charity

06 May 2020

Cartoons by the late Albert Uderzo (1927-2020) will be offered by his family at a charity auction hosted by Artcurial in Paris.

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Old Masters migrate to online

20 April 2020

Aguttes’ drawings auction was one of the only sales not to be postponed after the coronavirus alert.

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Drawing on expertise of Fitzwilliam director

23 March 2020

Two Italian Mannerist chalk drawings emerged as the top sellers in a section of Old Master drawings and prints at Cirencester saleroom Dominic Winter.

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Previews of drawing sales planned in Paris despite postponement of Salon du Dessin

16 March 2020

The Paris drawings fair 'Salon du Dessin' has been postponed until the end of May because of the coronavirus alert, but some specialist auctions that are scheduled to coincide with the event are still going ahead at the time of writing.

Salon du Dessin in Paris

Salon du Dessin postponed as organisers reverse decision to go ahead

13 March 2020

The prestigious Paris drawings fair ‘Salon du Dessin’ has been postponed until the end of May as the outbreak of coronavirus in Europe continues to have a major effect on the fairs calendar.

Salon du Dessin in Paris

Organisers say Salon du Dessin will go ahead despite new public events restrictions in France

10 March 2020

The Paris drawings fair ‘Salon du Dessin’ is to go ahead as planned later this month, despite the new restrictions on public gatherings in France.

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Only existing drawing of Benin from before 1890 in demand at auction

02 March 2020

Several surprises emerged in the tribal art sale held by Cologne auction house Lempertz (24% buyer’s premium) in a recent sale held in Brussels.

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Ingres portrait among sales at latest Master Drawings New York

13 February 2020

A portrait by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) was among the sales at the latest staging of Master Drawings New York.

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Mantegna and Tiepolo make the difference in ‘highest NY Old Master total in five years’

03 February 2020

Two key consignments, one painting and one drawing, lifted the latest Old Master series in New York to the highest total for five years.

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Punchinello visits Paris as Tiepolo is key name at Christie's drawings sale

03 February 2020

March is when Paris turns its attention to the world of drawings and works on paper.

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US auctions: New York series of Old Master drawings includes 'triumphant' equestrian studies

20 January 2020

Sotheby’s holds the first of its New York series of Old Master paintings and drawings at the end of January with its Masters Week sales running from January 24-31.

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Drawings are streets ahead

13 January 2020

A view from the steps of the 42nd Street New York Public Library completed in 1915 by US artist Jules André Smith is among the highlights at Master Drawings New York.

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Regent’s treat: Rediscovered Prince of Wales portrait sold for €325,000

06 January 2020

This rediscovered drawing of the future George IV (1762-1830) is believed to have been owned by his true love Maria Fitzherbert (1756-1837).

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Bidders warm to frieze

23 December 2019

This Neoclassical drawing by the Swedish sculptor Johann Tobias Sergel (1740-1814) proved very popular in the opening Old Master works on paper section of the mixed-discipline traditional sale held by the Hôtel des Ventes de Monte-Carlo 25% buyer’s premium) on November 27 in Monaco.

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Cartoons showing Harold Wilson as pleased as punch emerge at Amersham sale

25 November 2019

The leading contenders in the December 12 General Election are struggling to land any meaningful blows on each other, despite being more than happy to be photographed in boxing rings.

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Pick of the Week: Rediscovered Nelson portrait surfaces at sale

11 November 2019

A hitherto unknown portrait of Nelson sold for three times the top estimate at the Charles Miller (24% buyer’s premium) auction on November 5.

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Parisian panorama

11 November 2019

Among several auctions devoted to Old Master and 19th century paintings taking place in Paris this month will be the 66-lot sale held at Sotheby’s on November 19.

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