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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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NEIL DAVID "HOPI SYMBOLISM" PEN INK ON PAPER
Dec 04, 9:00 AM MST
NEIL DAVID "HOPI SYMBOLISM" PEN INK ON PAPER
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$22010 Bids
KEITH HARING, SIGNED DRAWING, HAND SIGNED
Dec 11, 10:15 PM CET
KEITH HARING, SIGNED DRAWING, HAND SIGNED
by Novartia
Est: €2,200- €2,400
€5504 Bids
Walt Kuhn (American, 1877-1949) Study for Trio
Dec 06, 11:00 AM EST
Walt Kuhn (American, 1877-1949) Study for Trio
by Freeman's
Est: $800- $1,200
$4754 Bids
ATTR KEITH HARING SGD Ink & Marker Drawing
Dec 21, 10:00 AM EST
ATTR KEITH HARING SGD Ink & Marker Drawing
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $50- $300
$33 Bids
Daniel Johnston (American/California, 1961-2019
Dec 08, 11:00 AM CST
Daniel Johnston (American/California, 1961-2019
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $300- $500
$1502 Bids
Daniel Johnston (American/California, 1961-2019
Dec 08, 11:00 AM CST
Daniel Johnston (American/California, 1961-2019
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $300- $500
$1502 Bids
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ELSA ULBRICT - UNTITLED DRAWING
Dec 06, 10:00 AM EST
ELSA ULBRICT - UNTITLED DRAWING
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
KEITH HARING, SIGNED DRAWING
Dec 11, 10:15 PM CET
KEITH HARING, SIGNED DRAWING
by Novartia
Est: €1,800- €2,000
€2501 Bid
Anna BOCH (1848-1936) Femme à l’ombrelle dans un jardin
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Anna BOCH (1848-1936) Femme à l’ombrelle dans un jardin
by Louiza Auktion & Associés
Est: €700- €900
€7001 Bid
10 GROTESQUE HEADS.
Dec 08, 1:00 PM CET
10 GROTESQUE HEADS.
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €1,200- €1,800
€6001 Bid
Robert COMBAS (Né en 1957), D'Après.Sans titre
Dec 10, 2:00 PM CET
Robert COMBAS (Né en 1957), D'Après.Sans titre
by Louiza Auktion & Associés
Est: €800- €1,000
€8001 Bid
SEATED SOLDIER WITH BANNER AND DRUM.
Dec 08, 1:00 PM CET
SEATED SOLDIER WITH BANNER AND DRUM.
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €200- €300
€1001 Bid
(HINDU DEITIES and DASHAVATARA.) Group of 24 miniature ink and watercolor drawings with Anglicized captions.
Dec 08, 12:00 PM EST
(HINDU DEITIES and DASHAVATARA.) Group of 24 miniature ink and watercolor drawings with Anglicized captions.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $800- $1,200
$6001 Bid
Mark Kostabi, Original Pencil Drawing
Dec 07, 10:00 AM EST
Mark Kostabi, Original Pencil Drawing
by Nye & Company
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
JEAN-JACQUES-SEMPÉ (1932-2022) Fancy cyclist and tiny boy on training wheels.
Dec 15, 12:00 PM EST
JEAN-JACQUES-SEMPÉ (1932-2022) Fancy cyclist and tiny boy on training wheels.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5001 Bid
TWO COSTUME DESIGN SKETCHES
Dec 08, 9:00 AM PST
TWO COSTUME DESIGN SKETCHES
by Abell Auction
Est: $100- $200
$501 Bid
Edgar Degas drawing, Hand signed
Dec 11, 10:15 PM CET
Edgar Degas drawing, Hand signed
by Novartia
Est: €1,800- €1,900
€2501 Bid
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T-KID 170 (Américain - Né en 1961) Untitled - 2010 Marqueur sur papier
Dec 08, 12:00 PM CET
T-KID 170 (Américain - Né en 1961) Untitled - 2010 Marqueur sur papier
by Artcurial
Est: €200- €300
€2001 Bid
MADEMOISELLE CLAIRON AS MEDEA.
Dec 08, 1:00 PM CET
MADEMOISELLE CLAIRON AS MEDEA.
by Arenberg Auctions
Est: €800- €1,000
€4001 Bid
Saul Steinberg, Untitled (Braves)
Dec 07, 11:00 AM EST
Saul Steinberg, Untitled (Braves)
by Rago Arts and Auction Center
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$8001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Figural Drawings


Artcurial

Artcurial

Im Kinsky

Im Kinsky

Finarte

Finarte

LiveBid

LiveBid