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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

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Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi (Bologna 1606-1680 Rome) (Attributed)
Jul 30, 11:00 AM EDT
Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi (Bologna 1606-1680 Rome) (Attributed)
by Hidden Treasures Antiques & Fine Arts
Est: $3,000- $4,000
$1,8000 Bids
Austrian Pen And Brown Ink Drawing, Ca. 18th C., "St. Francis", H 11.5" W 7"
Jul 19, 11:00 AM EDT
Austrian Pen And Brown Ink Drawing, Ca. 18th C., "St. Francis", H 11.5" W 7"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
French Artist 18th Century
Jul 16, 10:00 AM CEST
French Artist 18th Century
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €180- €360
€1800 Bids
Christoph Ludwig Agricola (1667-1719) – Attributed
Jul 16, 10:00 AM CEST
Christoph Ludwig Agricola (1667-1719) – Attributed
by Deutsch Auktionen
Est: €80- €160
€800 Bids
North European School. The Twelve Apostles, 17th century
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
North European School. The Twelve Apostles, 17th century
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£2000 Bids
Zeichnung einer Münze der römischen Kaiserzeit, Wohl 17. Jh.
Jul 26, 1:00 PM CEST
Zeichnung einer Münze der römischen Kaiserzeit, Wohl 17. Jh.
by Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser
Est: €100- €200
€1000 Bids
Venetian School. Temperance and Prudence, 16th century
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Venetian School. Temperance and Prudence, 16th century
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
Attributed to Carlo Maratta (1625-1713). Winged Angel and Seated Figure with a Crown
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Attributed to Carlo Maratta (1625-1713). Winged Angel and Seated Figure with a Crown
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £500- £800
£5000 Bids
Studio of Francesco Solimena (Canale, 1657-1747 Naples). Christ in the House of Simon
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Studio of Francesco Solimena (Canale, 1657-1747 Naples). Christ in the House of Simon
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
Anselmi (Giorgio, 1723-1797). The Adoration of the Shepherds
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Anselmi (Giorgio, 1723-1797). The Adoration of the Shepherds
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £300- £500
£3000 Bids
Beham (Hans Sebald, 1500-1550). Head of Man with Ram's Horns
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Beham (Hans Sebald, 1500-1550). Head of Man with Ram's Horns
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £700- £1,000
£7000 Bids
Callot (Jacques, Nancy 1592-1635). Tuscan Farmyard, pen and brown ink
Jul 25, 10:00 AM BST
Callot (Jacques, Nancy 1592-1635). Tuscan Farmyard, pen and brown ink
by Dominic Winter Auctions
Est: £2,000- £3,000
£2,0000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Old Master Drawings


Dominic Winter Auctions

Dominic Winter Auctions

Deutsch Auktionen

Deutsch Auktionen

DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles

Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser

Kunstauktionshaus Schlosser