Master Drawings

Raphael: Heads of Apostles

(Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, until 18 August 2013)

The Ashmolean Museum’s collection of Old Master drawings began with a bang in 1843 when the newly-fledged institution managed to acquire a group of Raphael and Michelangelo drawings from the collection of the late Sir Thomas Lawrence. Sheets by Rembrandt, Leonardo and Claude followed in 1855, as part of a bequest from the collector Chambers Hall and further Northern drawings were added in 1863 from the collection of the antiquarian and connoisseur Francis Douce. By having had the good fortune to be founded at a time when it was still possible to purchase great sheets by the Old Masters, the Ashmolean has built up one of the greatest collections of drawings in the country.

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