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Figural Drawings

Figural drawing includes any composition created with traditional drawing media featuring recognizable figures. This type of art corresponds to the oldest mode of artistic expression, hearkening back to the depiction of humans, flora, and fauna rendered on the walls of caves.

Figural drawing may best be understood as the antithesis of abstract drawing. While abstract drawing seeks to represent interior, cosmic, or ethereal realities through forms that often bear no resemblance to anything tangible, figural drawing features recognizable images.

Notable figural drawings from famous artists are often highly competitive at auction. As an art form, figural drawing continues to flourish today with artists such as Mark Tansey and Elizabeth Peyton reinventing this timeless tradition within the context of contemporary art.


Quick Facts

  • The caves of Lascaux are one of the earliest examples of figural drawing. These drawings etched on caves in the Dordogne region include more than 900 images of humans, cattle, and other animal life from this period
  • A figural drawing relates to any work that centers around the human body whether clothed or nude
  • The tradition of drawing the human body appears as a predominant aspect of virtually every culture’s artistic legacy. Many of the most famous works of art, such as "Venus of Orbino" by Titian, depict the nude female body

Recommended Items at Auction

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SALVADOR DALI "REMBRANDT" SIGNED ENGRAVING
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
SALVADOR DALI "REMBRANDT" SIGNED ENGRAVING
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$22013 Bids
Raoul Millais,British (1901-1999) Matador
Nov 14, 2:30 PM AEDT
Raoul Millais,British (1901-1999) Matador
by Artvisory
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD5507 Bids
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
Oct 29, 2:30 PM CEST
ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)
by Fine Art Auctions Paris
Est: €4,000- €6,000
€4,0003 Bids
Alfred Lörcher (1875-1962), Ge
Nov 08, 10:00 AM CET
Alfred Lörcher (1875-1962), Ge
by Historia Auktionshaus
Est: €0- €0
€1002 Bids
§ Francis Newton Souza (Indian 1924-2002) Two Heads, 1961
Oct 29, 10:00 AM BST
§ Francis Newton Souza (Indian 1924-2002) Two Heads, 1961
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £800- £1,200
£4002 Bids
Willem de Kooning: Charcoal Drawing on Heavy Laid Paper, 1988
Oct 28, 12:00 PM EDT
Willem de Kooning: Charcoal Drawing on Heavy Laid Paper, 1988
by Zikorn Arts
Est: $5,000- $25,000
$5,0001 Bid
Charles Blackman ( 1928-2012) Figures
Nov 14, 2:30 PM AEDT
Charles Blackman ( 1928-2012) Figures
by Artvisory
Est: AUD1,600- AUD2,400
AUD1,2001 Bid
ALBERT MARQUET FRENCH 1875-1947
Nov 06, 12:00 PM EDT
ALBERT MARQUET FRENCH 1875-1947
by Trinity International Auctions & Appraisals, LLC
Est: $400- $600
$2501 Bid
John Bear Curtis - Pencil and Ink Drawing
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
John Bear Curtis - Pencil and Ink Drawing
by Regency Auction House
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Lado Gudiasvili
Nov 06, 7:00 PM EET
Lado Gudiasvili
by Tiroche Auction House
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$9001 Bid
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Francisco Zúñiga, Untitled (Three Native Figures)
Nov 05, 3:00 PM MDT
Francisco Zúñiga, Untitled (Three Native Figures)
by Santa Fe Art Auction
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid
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E. I. Couse, Untitled (Double-Sided Drawing Study)
Nov 05, 3:00 PM MDT
E. I. Couse, Untitled (Double-Sided Drawing Study)
by Santa Fe Art Auction
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
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E. I. Couse, Untitled (Indian Rider)
Nov 05, 3:00 PM MDT
E. I. Couse, Untitled (Indian Rider)
by Santa Fe Art Auction
Est: $800- $1,200
$4001 Bid
PASCIN, JULES: Deux femmes.
Nov 04, 9:00 AM CET
PASCIN, JULES: Deux femmes.
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF200- CHF400
CHF2001 Bid
Framed reproduction parrot & alligator Fraktur attributed to Susan Irons
Nov 19, 4:00 PM EST
Framed reproduction parrot & alligator Fraktur attributed to Susan Irons
by Horst Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$301 Bid
AN ANATOLY ZVEREV BLACK INK ON PAPER PAINTING
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
AN ANATOLY ZVEREV BLACK INK ON PAPER PAINTING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid
Pavel Tchelitchew. "Reclining Figure," ink
Nov 06, 10:00 AM EDT
Pavel Tchelitchew. "Reclining Figure," ink
by Alex Cooper
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,0001 Bid
"Galante Dame mit Hut",wohl Tuschezeichnung,unleserlich signiert,Bildausschnitt ca.42x33,5cm
Nov 20, 11:00 AM CET
"Galante Dame mit Hut",wohl Tuschezeichnung,unleserlich signiert,Bildausschnitt ca.42x33,5cm
by Auction Partners
Est: €30- €0
€301 Bid
Purvis Young 1943-2010 Outsider Found Art Drawing
Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
Purvis Young 1943-2010 Outsider Found Art Drawing
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$501 Bid
• MICHEL SEVIER (B. 1886)
Nov 03, 12:00 PM GMT
• MICHEL SEVIER (B. 1886)
by Olympia Auctions
Est: £500- £700
£2401 Bid
ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF dit ERTÉ (1892 – 1990) « Une ama…
Oct 30, 10:30 AM CEST
ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF dit ERTÉ (1892 – 1990) « Une ama…
by Osenat
Est: €300- €400
€2001 Bid
ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF dit ERTÉ (1892 – 1990) « Une ama…
Oct 30, 10:30 AM CEST
ROMAIN DE TIRTOFF dit ERTÉ (1892 – 1990) « Une ama…
by Osenat
Est: €300- €400
€2001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Figural Drawings


500 Gallery

500 Gallery

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dane Fine Art Auctions

OG Collections

OG Collections

Bonhams

Bonhams