Loading Spinner

Old Master Drawings

Old Master drawings refer to European works on paper that were rendered in traditional drawing media from the 14th to 19th centuries. They encompass a diversity genres from portraiture to landscapes, and include artists ranging from Renaissance masters such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci to French Romanticists such as François Boucher and Jean Antoine Watteau.

These drawings tend to reflect an academic style of art, stressing the artist’s ability to capture their subjects with fidelity. However, there are notable exceptions. The Spanish painter Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes is regarded as one of the most pivotal artists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Goya’s drawings reveal the artist’s penchant for imaginative, grotesque, and at times terrifying compositions that contradict the straightforward realism that one typically expects from the genre.

Old Master drawings can be found at a variety of price points depending on their age, subject, and creator. The drawings of lesser known 19th century European artists may be worth a few thousand dollars, whereas a drawing by Michelangelo can fetch more than $10 million.


Quick Facts

  • In 1998, Christie’s was sued for £100 million over a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing in ink, chalk, and pen that was incorrectly attributed to an anonymous 19th century German artist and sold for just over £14,500
  • Old Masters drawings are typically stable assets and have been purchased to diversify high net worth individuals’ financial portfolios
  • During economic recessions, investors will often purchase Old Master drawings and paintings as a way of investing their resources in an asset class that is largely impervious to market fluctuations

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

JAMES BARRY (ATTRIBUTED TO) (Cork 1741-1806 London) Standing Female Nude.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
JAMES BARRY (ATTRIBUTED TO) (Cork 1741-1806 London) Standing Female Nude.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7502 Bids
Old Master Pen and Ink Drawing Northern Italian
Nov 03, 10:00 AM CDT
Old Master Pen and Ink Drawing Northern Italian
by Revere Auctions
Est: $500- $1,000
$2602 Bids
JOHANN ELIAS RIDINGER (Ulm 1698-1767 Augsburg) Group of 4 portraits of aristocrats on horseback.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
JOHANN ELIAS RIDINGER (Ulm 1698-1767 Augsburg) Group of 4 portraits of aristocrats on horseback.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$3,6001 Bid
Jacopo Da Ponte, Gen. Bassano (Umkreis) – Sitzende weibliche Figur
Oct 27, 6:00 PM CEST
Jacopo Da Ponte, Gen. Bassano (Umkreis) – Sitzende weibliche Figur
by Karl & Faber - Timed
Est: €800- €900
€8001 Bid
Österreichisch – Entwurf für einen Altar
Oct 27, 6:00 PM CEST
Österreichisch – Entwurf für einen Altar
by Karl & Faber - Timed
Est: €900- €1,000
€9001 Bid
Dessins BROUWER Adriaen (1605 - 1638). Entourage de.
Nov 02, 6:30 PM CET
Dessins BROUWER Adriaen (1605 - 1638). Entourage de.
by Vanderkindere
Est: €280- €360
€2800 Bids
GUIDO RENI (Bologna 1575-1642 Bologna) Virgin and Child.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
GUIDO RENI (Bologna 1575-1642 Bologna) Virgin and Child.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$2,2000 Bids
SIMONE CANTARINI (Pesaro 1612-1648 Verona) St. Jerome.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
SIMONE CANTARINI (Pesaro 1612-1648 Verona) St. Jerome.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $4,000- $6,000
$3,0000 Bids
GIUSEPPE CESARI, IL CAVALIERE D'ARPINO (Rome 1568-1640 Rome) Two Oriental Heads.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
GIUSEPPE CESARI, IL CAVALIERE D'ARPINO (Rome 1568-1640 Rome) Two Oriental Heads.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $20,000- $30,000
$15,0000 Bids
GIOVANNI FRANCESCO GRIMALDI (Bologna 1606-1680 Rome) Three Travellers at Rest.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
GIOVANNI FRANCESCO GRIMALDI (Bologna 1606-1680 Rome) Three Travellers at Rest.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
FRANCESCO SOLIMENA (Serino 1657-1747 Naples) The Continence of Scipio.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
FRANCESCO SOLIMENA (Serino 1657-1747 Naples) The Continence of Scipio.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $3,000- $5,000
$2,2000 Bids
MARCO MARCOLA (Verona 1740-1793 Verona) Men Exchanging Money at a Table, Viewed by Soldiers.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
MARCO MARCOLA (Verona 1740-1793 Verona) Men Exchanging Money at a Table, Viewed by Soldiers.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7500 Bids
GIOVANNI D. TIEPOLO (Venice 1724-1804 Venice) Six Flying Putti.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
GIOVANNI D. TIEPOLO (Venice 1724-1804 Venice) Six Flying Putti.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $5,000- $8,000
$3,6000 Bids
PIETER JANSZ QUAST (Amsterdam 1606-1647 Amsterdam) Group of 4 drawings from the Passion of Christ.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
PIETER JANSZ QUAST (Amsterdam 1606-1647 Amsterdam) Group of 4 drawings from the Passion of Christ.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids
CLAUDE-JOSEPH VERNET (Avignon 1714-1789 Paris) A Harbor Scene with a Docked Ship.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
CLAUDE-JOSEPH VERNET (Avignon 1714-1789 Paris) A Harbor Scene with a Docked Ship.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,1000 Bids
ANNE LOUIS GIRODET-TRIOSON (Montargis 1767-1824 Paris) Group of 7 pen and ink drawings for the Odes of Anacreon.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
ANNE LOUIS GIRODET-TRIOSON (Montargis 1767-1824 Paris) Group of 7 pen and ink drawings for the Odes of Anacreon.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $7,000- $10,000
$5,2000 Bids
EUGÈNE DELACROIX (Saint-Maurice 1798-1863 Paris) Le Tasse dans le Maison des Fous.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
EUGÈNE DELACROIX (Saint-Maurice 1798-1863 Paris) Le Tasse dans le Maison des Fous.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $12,000- $18,000
$9,0000 Bids
JEAN-FRANÇOIS MILLET (Gréville-Hague, La Hague 1814-1875 Barbizon) Paysan debout et Enfant.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
JEAN-FRANÇOIS MILLET (Gréville-Hague, La Hague 1814-1875 Barbizon) Paysan debout et Enfant.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $20,000- $30,000
$15,0000 Bids
HENRI-JOSEPH HARPIGNIES (Valenciennes 1819-1916 Saint-Privé) A River Landscape.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
HENRI-JOSEPH HARPIGNIES (Valenciennes 1819-1916 Saint-Privé) A River Landscape.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7500 Bids
HENRI TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (Albi 1864-1901 Saint-André-du-Bois) Feuille d'études avec Chevaux et Chiens Lévriers.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
HENRI TOULOUSE-LAUTREC (Albi 1864-1901 Saint-André-du-Bois) Feuille d'études avec Chevaux et Chiens Lévriers.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $8,000- $12,000
$6,0000 Bids
F.J. VANDERBORCHT (Belgium, early 19th Century) Notre Dame, Anvers.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
F.J. VANDERBORCHT (Belgium, early 19th Century) Notre Dame, Anvers.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$7500 Bids
GIACINTO CALANDRUCCI (Palermo 1646-1707 Palermo) The Annunciation.
Nov 03, 12:00 PM EDT
GIACINTO CALANDRUCCI (Palermo 1646-1707 Palermo) The Annunciation.
by Swann Auction Galleries
Est: $2,000- $3,000
$1,5000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Old Master Drawings


Swann Auction Galleries

Swann Auction Galleries

Karl & Faber - Timed

Karl & Faber - Timed

Tajan

Tajan

Revere Auctions

Revere Auctions