Exhibition | First Sight: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on September 18, 2014

Press release (13 June 2014) from the Scottish National Gallery:

First Sight: Recent Acquisitions of Prints and Drawings
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, 14 June — 12 October 2014

first-sight-poster-470x664pxA group of around 30 outstanding drawings, watercolours, and prints will go on display at the Scottish National Gallery this summer in an exhibition which highlights some of the superb recent additions to the permanent collection. The aptly named First Sight exhibition will provide the general public with the chance to see many of these fabulous acquisitions for the first time following careful conservation treatment. It also offers an incredibly diverse experience, with pieces ranging from large-scale exhibition watercolours to small working sketches, from Rembrandt in the 17th century to Paul Cézanne in the late 19th century.

Acquisitions on show for the first time include an evocative watercolour by James Skene of Rubislaw which was inspired by The Heart of Midlothian, the celebrated novel by his close friend Sir Walter Scott; a delicate watercolour of Glasgow Cathedral by painted by David Roberts in 1829; and a colourful Neapolitan costume study by Giovanni Battista Lusieri from the late 18th century. J. M. W. Turner’s spectacular watercolour of Rome from Monte Mario, 1820, will once again be on show after it was briefly included in the Turner in January exhibition in 2013, along with a delicate red chalk drawing from about 1710 by Jean-Antoine Watteau. Both these pieces were allocated to the Galleries by the Government’s Acceptance in Lieu scheme.


Giovanni Battista Lusieri, A Young Woman (Rosalina Scala) with her Daughter, in Traditional Neapolitan Dress, probably 1780s
(Scottish National Gallery)

There are also landscapes by artists new to the collection, such as the Italian watercolourist Carlo Labruzzi and British artists Thomas Miles Richardson Junior and Francis Nicholson, as well as prints from the magnificent bequest made by celebrated art collectors Henry and Sula Walton in 2012, which includes etchings by Goya, Jean-Franҫois Millet, and Edouard Manet.

The Scottish National Gallery’s collection of prints and drawings has been built up through purchase, donation and bequest over many years. The generosity of supporters, donors, funding bodies and organisations has together helped to make the continued growth of this much treasured collection possible.

Works of art on paper make up the largest area of the Gallery’s permanent collection, comprising around 30,000 prints, drawings, watercolours, sketchbooks, and antiquarian volumes. When not on display, this vast resource is made available to the general public in the Prints and Drawings Study Room at the Scottish National Gallery.

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