Prints and Drawings (Room 90), Upper floor

Exhibitions of prints and drawings are changed several times a year because long exposure to light causes works on paper to fade and discolour.

Changing displays

Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo da Vinci to Jasper Johns

10 September – 6 December 2015

Explore the development of the artistic technique of metalpoint from the Renaissance to the present, and discover how the technical challenge of the medium has inspired generations of artists.

This exhibition is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see around 100 exceptional drawings created using the exquisite metalpoint technique. It features works by some of the greatest artists working from the late 14th century to the present including Rogier van der Weyden, Petrus Christus, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Albrecht Dürer, Hans Holbein the Elder, Lucas van Leyden, Rembrandt, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Otto Dix, Jasper Johns and Bruce Nauman.

More about this exhibition 

Hendrick Goltzius, Self-portrait wearing a hat and wide ruff, silverpoint and grey and blue-grey wash on yellow prepared vellum, c. 1589.


Unity and Simplicity: Neoclassicism in Europe

3 July – late September 2015

The word ‘neoclassicism’ can be applied to any movement which draws inspiration from antiquity, but it is usually used to describe European art in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The discovery of Herculaneum in 1738 and Pompeii in 1748 revealed a new wealth of ancient sources, creating demand for classically inspired pictures and interiors, and inspiring artists to emulate classical art in their own work. This display presents a selection of drawings by artists from across Europe, and looks at the different ways they drew on ancient motifs and themes.

COMPASS Title: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, The Apotheosis of Napoleon I, a brown-wash pencil drawing,

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), The Apotheosis of Napoleon, 1859. 1949,0212.6

Permanent displays

Two works from the department are normally on display in the Museum:

Grayson Perry, 'Map of an Englishman' (detail) 
Michelangelo, Epifania


Other prints and drawings can be seen in the Study Room.