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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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Clara Ledesma Terrazas (1924-1999) "Girl with Lute"
Apr 29, 10:00 AM EDT
Clara Ledesma Terrazas (1924-1999) "Girl with Lute"
by Material Culture
Est: $500- $1,000
$4255 Bids
Ray Austin Crooke, Australia (1922-2015), Native in the Garden, Pencil & wash
Apr 29, 6:00 PM AEST
Ray Austin Crooke, Australia (1922-2015), Native in the Garden, Pencil & wash
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD300- AUD500
AUD2204 Bids
Mexico-Francisco Zuniga 1912-1998 Charcoal & Pastel On Paper Two Women
Apr 27, 12:00 PM EDT
Mexico-Francisco Zuniga 1912-1998 Charcoal & Pastel On Paper Two Women
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$2004 Bids
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JOHN FARNSWORTH "MOTHER AND CHILD" PASTEL ON BOARD
May 05, 9:00 AM MST
JOHN FARNSWORTH "MOTHER AND CHILD" PASTEL ON BOARD
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$453 Bids
Ernst Fuchs, Vienna 1930 - 2015 Vienna, Samson the Judge
May 07, 5:00 PM CEST
Ernst Fuchs, Vienna 1930 - 2015 Vienna, Samson the Judge
by Tiberius Auctions
Est: €400- €600
€3203 Bids
JOE EULA - ILLUSTRATIONS FOR GEOFFREY BEENE, GROUP OF 2
May 02, 11:00 AM EDT
JOE EULA - ILLUSTRATIONS FOR GEOFFREY BEENE, GROUP OF 2
by Capsule Gallery Auction
Est: $100- $200
$202 Bids
Louis ICART (1888-1950)
May 03, 2:00 PM CEST
Louis ICART (1888-1950)
by Hotel des ventes de Lausanne
Est: €100- €200
€1002 Bids
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
Apr 29, 5:00 PM EDT
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $350- $400
$702 Bids
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
Apr 29, 5:00 PM EDT
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $350- $400
$602 Bids
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
Apr 29, 5:00 PM EDT
ATTR. TO KEITH HARING INK DRAWING ON PAPER 36"
by DejaVu Estate Sales & Auctions
Est: $350- $400
$602 Bids
ATTR SALVADOR DALI SURREAL SKETCH PENCIL PAINTING
Apr 27, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR SALVADOR DALI SURREAL SKETCH PENCIL PAINTING
by Antique Arena Inc
Est: $100- $150
$602 Bids
Garry Trudeau b1948 SIGNED Doonesbury Sketch & Cel
Apr 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Garry Trudeau b1948 SIGNED Doonesbury Sketch & Cel
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$502 Bids
DIDIER MAHIEU (°1961)
Apr 25, 10:00 AM CEST
DIDIER MAHIEU (°1961)
by Bernaerts Auctioneers
Est: €300- €400
€1801 Bid
ARMODIO (VILMORE SCHENARDI) - Senza titolo, 2010
Apr 28, 1:00 PM CEST
ARMODIO (VILMORE SCHENARDI) - Senza titolo, 2010
by Meeting Art Casa D'Aste
Est: €1,000- €2,000
€1001 Bid
§ SCOTTIE WILSON (BRITISH 1891-1972)
Apr 26, 10:00 AM BST
§ SCOTTIE WILSON (BRITISH 1891-1972)
by Lyon & Turnbull
Est: £800- £1,200
£4001 Bid
Gahan Wilson (American 1930-2019), ''Well, It Gives Me the Creeps''
May 01, 12:00 PM EDT
Gahan Wilson (American 1930-2019), ''Well, It Gives Me the Creeps''
by South Bay Auctions Inc
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Peter Max, (German, b.1937) Ink on Paper Illustration
Apr 30, 12:00 PM EDT
Peter Max, (German, b.1937) Ink on Paper Illustration
by Akiba Galleries
Est: $25- $250
$2501 Bid
ANZINGER, SIEGFRIED: Figuren.
May 02, 9:00 AM CEST
ANZINGER, SIEGFRIED: Figuren.
by Dobiaschofsky Auktionen AG
Est: CHF200- CHF400
CHF2001 Bid
Keith HARING (1958-1990), Attribué à. Pour un déjeuner sur l’herbe,1987
Apr 27, 2:00 PM CEST
Keith HARING (1958-1990), Attribué à. Pour un déjeuner sur l’herbe,1987
by Louiza Auktion & Associés
Est: €300- €500
€3001 Bid
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Keith Haring (D’après)
Apr 28, 7:30 PM CEST
Keith Haring (D’après)
by MDP Auction
Est: €4,000- €8,000
€1,5001 Bid
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Keith Haring (D’après)
Apr 28, 7:30 PM CEST
Keith Haring (D’après)
by MDP Auction
Est: €2,000- €4,000
€1,0001 Bid
Agustin Fernandez (1928 - 2006) Latin American
Apr 28, 5:00 PM EDT
Agustin Fernandez (1928 - 2006) Latin American
by Cutler Bay Auctions
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,2001 Bid
ROBERT SAINT BRICE - UNTITLED
May 02, 11:00 AM EDT
ROBERT SAINT BRICE - UNTITLED
by Capsule Gallery Auction
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Figural Drawings


Finarte

Finarte

MDP Auction

MDP Auction

Wright

Wright

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions