Gallery blog

Auld Lang Syne: Days of Long Ago

23 January 2015 by Emily


Burns Night is just around the corner and in celebration we have delved into our Prints and Drawings collection to bring you a selection of Scottish inspired works on paper.

Scotland has long been on the artist’s wish list of places to make work, and it is easy to see why. The following works deliver a strong sense of the almighty scale of the Scottish landscape, and the challenges it would have no doubt presented the artists with during their visits in the late 1700s, early 1800s.

From wide rivers and endless forests to vast Mountains and stormy skies, the environment demands of the artist an equally natural, confident and uncompromising approach to capture its often breath-taking beauty.


View of a coast with a large mountain (Scotland) George Howland Beaumont (1753-1827) Graphite, watercolour (grey) on paper Height: 11.5 cm; Width: 17.2 cm;  Acquisition Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952 D.1952.RW.3423.1

View of a coast with a large mountain (Scotland)
George Howland Beaumont (1753-1827)
Graphite, watercolour (grey) on paper


Near Kelso 1800-01 Thomas Girtin (1775-1802) Height: 26 cm; Width: 43.8 cm; Inscription Signed, lower left, recto, Girtin // Acquisition Scharf, Dorothy (Miss); bequest; 2007 (March) D.2007.DS.18
Near Kelso
Thomas Girtin (1775-1802)

West view of Dumbarton Castle 10.1788 Joseph Farington (1747-1821) Graphite, pen and ink, watercolour on paper Height: 22.9 cm; Width: 44.4 cm;  Inscription Signed, graphite, lower right, Jos: Farington. Titled, dated, graphite, lower left, west view of Dumbarton/ Castle. October. 1788 Notes, graphite, at various points of the drawing, grey/ white/ 81/ GA Acquisition Spooner, William (Mr and Mrs); bequest; 1967 D.1967.WS.42  Thomas Girtin’s Near Kelso. 1800 -1801

West view of Dumbarton Castle
Joseph Farington (1747-1821)
Graphite, pen and ink, watercolour on paper


And if you would like to find out more about these and other works in our Prints and Drawings Collection you can visit the Prints and Drawings Study Room between 1.30pm and 4pm on Wednesdays when the Study Room is open on a drop-in basis

Find out more







Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Final Count Down

9 January 2015 by Emily


Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Raising the Roof: The new Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery

24 November 2014 by admin


If you have visited The Courtauld Gallery recently you may have encountered a builder in a hard hat and wondered what the occasional hammering sound coming from the mezzanine floor was.


Cladding of the room and first fit of main ducts for environmental control feeds in the small ceiling void

Since August this year, our new Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery has been taking shape. A talented team of architects and structural engineers have been assisting us with the challenging task of transforming a former storage facility into an impressive dedicated drawings gallery for the public.

Withereford Whatson Mann are the architects behind this project and have been working with us to create a welcoming space, that will not only display our exceptional collection of drawings but give our visitors an enriched gallery experience with greater access to our collection.


The new gallery space, with struts to support the ceiling prior to structural works, and walls stripped back to original brickwork


 Ceiling prior to raising

Major changes are already taking place with some significant structural work, included raising the ceilings, already completed. Over the next few months the room will start to come together as the contractors lay the floors, finalise the environmental controls and add the finishing touches.

The Gilbert and Ildiko Butler Drawings Gallery will open to the public on 15 January 2014 with its first display Unseen,  drawing attention to the range and depth of our collection by focusing on works which have not been exhibited to the public in the last 20 years.

A selection of 20 works will make up this display dating from Two men in conversation, a 15th century Renaissance drawing from the school of Francesco Squarcione (c. 1395 – after 1468), the teacher of Andrea Mantegna, to Africa, a work from 1962 by Larry Rivers (1923-2002), considered to be the godfather of Pop Art.

Each year the new Gallery will host a dynamic programme of displays and will also function as a platform for research and experimentation, encouraging the development of new approaches in the study of drawings.

This project has been made possible by a generous gift from American philanthropist Gilbert Butler and his wife Ildiko alongside substantial donations from a range of significant stakeholders. We are confident that this fantastic new addition to the Gallery will be a welcome enhancement for all our visitors.

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jennifer’s Favorite Painting

19 November 2014 by admin


Jennifer Seymour,  Individual Campaigns and Legacies Manager

In this occasional series we ask Courtauld staff to tell us about their favourite painting in the collection.




My favourite painting in the Gallery is Paul Cézanne’s Lac d’Annecy.

When I first started at The Courtauld, I knew very little about art and our amazing collection. In my first few weeks in post, we held a telethon to raise money for our 80th anniversary Annual Fund appeal.

Whilst going through the notes from our student callers, I read about one call with a long-standing supporter of The Courtauld, who said she loved the painting Lac d’Annecy so much that she asked her husband to take her there on their honeymoon.



Paul Cézanne, Lac d’Annecy,  1896


Intrigued and touched by this story, I just had to see the painting for myself. I adored it immediately, and every time I see it I am not only reminded of the lovely honeymoon story, but I also find something new to admire about it. I find Cézanne’s use of colour spectacular and I love the way the whole scene is framed by the tree – to me, it gives the painting more depth. I always feel very peaceful when I look at it.

I find it wonderful to wander round the Gallery and imagine so many of the paintings hanging in Samuel Courtauld’s house in Portman Square, which was the original home of The Courtauld for over 60 years.

In 1932, Samuel Courtauld, Robert Witt and Viscount Lee of Fareham came together to bequeath the collections that were the founding of The Courtauld. Today, the legacy gifts we receive help support the future of The Courtauld, enabling us to care for our world-class collections and supporting future generations of students.


Find out more about leaving a gift in your will here


Categories: Collection, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Schiele at The Drawing Room: “The Nakeds”

27 October 2014 by admin


It’s been open less than a week and our latest exhibition Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude has received fantastic reviews and record visitor numbers, but it’s not just The Courtauld Gallery that has a fascination with Schiele.

We invited guest blogger Kate Macfarlane, Drawing Room Co-Director to tell us about their newest exhibitionThe Nakeds‘, featuring work of Schiele alongside many notable artists.


Kate Macfarlane, Drawing Room Co-Director & Guest Blogger

Installation View of the Nakeds exhibtion at the Drawing Room Gallery in London

“The Nakeds”, Installation view, The Drawing Room

‘The Nakeds’ includes artists’: David Austen, Fiona Banner, Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, George Condo, Enrico David, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Leon Golub, Stewart Helm, Chantal Joffe, Maria Lassnig, Paul McCarthy, Chris Ofili, Carol Rama, Egon Schiele, Nancy Spero, Georgina Starr, Alina Szapocznikow, Rosemarie Trockel, Nicola Tyson, Andy Warhol and Franz West.

In ‘The Nakeds‘ exhibition, drawings by Egon Schiele are presented alongside the work of 22 modern and contemporary artists.   We present a perfect pair of exquisitely sensitive  pencil drawings by Schiele:  a self-portrait in which he assumes an unusually effeminate attitude and a portrait of Wally, his mistress.  Both are partially clothed, with the pubic area exposed.

View of drawings by Egon Schiele withing the Draing Room Gallery's exhibition The Nakeds

“The Nakeds”, Installation View, The Drawing Room, London

These works are exhibited with tender line drawings of naked male figures made by Andy Warhol in the 1950s, delicate drawings celebrating female power made by Joseph Beuys in the 1950s, through to new works made by contemporary London based artists Enrico David and  Chantal Joffe and New York based Nicola Tyson.  Direct from the artists’ studios come drawings by Rosemarie Trockel collectively titled ‘I feel something’  and a ‘wordscape’ describing the performance of a stripper  by Fiona Banner.

"The Nakeds", Exhibition View, The Drawing Room, London

“The Nakeds”, Exhibition View, The Drawing Room, London

Presenting drawings made today alongside those produced in the early part of the 20th century has the effect of demonstrating that drawing is an enduring and in some ways unchanging medium.  Drawing and nakedness sit very comfortably together.  Drawing is a stripped down thing.  With the simplest of means it can capture an arresting image or conjure a sensation, a feeling. Nakedness is not simply a physical condition.  It suggests a figure stripped of clothing, perhaps by force; like drawing, the word naked conjures a raw and spare condition.

View of The Nakeds exhibtion at the Drawing View, Two large drawings by Egon Schiele

“The Nakeds”, installation view, The Drawing Room,

The Nakeds’, like most of Drawing Room’s projects, evolved through a collaborative process. In this case myself and co-director Mary Doyle developed the exhibition in partnership with artist David Austen and art historian Professor Gemma Blackshaw.

The latters specialisation in Austrian art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and Austen’s exploration of the fragility of the human condition through watercolour, painting and film, provided refreshingly divergent starting points. Drawing Room’s activities are inspired by spending time in the studios of contemporary artists (indeed we share our building with 25 artists), and this exhibition gave Gemma the opportunity to engage with contemporary female practitioners and to look at the work of Schiele through their eyes.

Her incisive and revealing findings are presented in her essay for the exhibition catalogue which also includes a ‘film script’ by David Austen and a ‘Letter to Egon Schiele’ by artist Nicola Tyson.

Various events compliment the exhibition including film screenings and a seminar on 10 November which will include contributions from David Austen, Gemma Blackshaw, Professor Jon Bird, Simon Grant, and by artists Stewart Helm and Chantal Joffe.

In Outset Study (our unique open access resource comprising a growing reference library of books on contemporary international drawing) we feature Artists’ Reading Lists, fascinating titles hand-picked by artists in ‘The Nakeds’.

Coming up at Drawing Room is the first solo exhibition in a UK public gallery of Mexican artist Daniel Guzmán (opening 13 December– 21 February 2015).

In March our renowned  Drawing Biennial 2015 will open (5 March – 29 April 2015) and include drawings by over 200 key contemporary practitioners which are available for sale from £250.

The Nakeds‘ runs at Drawing Room, London, SE1 until 29 November 2014

Categories: Egon Schiele: The Radical Nude, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

← Older posts