John Hoppner drawing A Young Boy Seated Beneath a Tree
John Hoppner, "A Young Boy Seated Beneath a Tree," c. 1790s/1810, red and black chalk with brush and grey and black ink, Gift of Funds from the Krugman Family Foundation, 2022.78.1

Selected entirely from the National Gallery’s permanent collection in Washington, DC, this exhibition of approximately 80 recently acquired drawings and watercolors provides an overview of two centuries of British art. The exhibition is on view through August 6, 2023.

Thomas Gainsborough drawing Rocky Wooded Landscape
Drawing by Thomas Gainsborough, “A Rocky Wooded Landscape with a Figure by a Stream,” 1781, black and gray wash with pen and black ink on tan laid paper, Gift of Donald Stone, 2022.40.56

Works on view reveal European influences on British art starting in the 1700s. They trace the development of watercolor as a national specialty and introduce the varied approaches that emerged during the Victorian era.

Henry Fuseli Satan Defying the Powers of Heaven
Drawing by Henry Fuseli, “Satan Defying the Powers of Heaven,” late 1790s, graphite, black chalk, and brown and gray wash on laid paper, Purchased as the Gift of Andrea Woodner, 2015.10.1.a

“Drawing in Britain” not only includes significant examples of the landscapes that are traditionally associated with British art, but it also highlights portraits, history scenes, and nude studies. Works by British women provide glimpses into the lives and work of several fascinating yet little-known artists.

The exhibition is curated by Stacey Sell, associate curator of old master drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington.

The National Gallery of Art, founded as a gift to the nation, serves as a center of visual art, education, and culture. Our collection of more than 150,000 paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings spans the history of Western art and showcases some of the triumphs of human creativity. Across 363 days a year, the National Gallery offers a full spectrum of special exhibitions and public programs free of charge.

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