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Modern Drawings

Modern drawings are any works on paper executed in a drawing medium such as ink, crayon, or pastel since the advent of Impressionism. This art form is an integral part of the creative practice of artists ranging from Edgar Degas to Pablo Picasso and Louise Bourgeois.

Drawing offered these and other artists an accessible way to elaborate their thought processes and plan the composition of their artworks. They were able to quickly draw their ideas before creating them in other media that required more entailed strategies of fabrication.

While drawing has been used to produce preparatory sketches since at least the Renaissance period, modern artists prize the austere and spontaneous aesthetic of drawings, creating them as works of art in their own right.

Quick Facts

  • In 2013, Wright Auctions of Chicago sold a Picasso drawing for $746,000. The drawing was completed in 1943 and features the artist's mistress Dora Maar
  • Modern drawings offer an excellent way to purchase a first-rate artist's work at a more accessible price point than a painting or sculpture of comparable quality
  • While Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas are most renowned for their paintings, they were also prolific draftsmen. Modern drawings by these artists, often of some of their most iconic subjects, are available at a fraction of the price of one of their paintings

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