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Collecting Old Master drawings

Charles II amassed a significant collection of Renaissance drawings during his reign. His interest in drawings may have developed during his years in exile, when he could have encountered collections such as that of his cousin Louis XIV.

At the core of Charles's collection were hundreds of drawings that had previously belonged to Thomas Howard, 14th Earl of Arundel, including celebrated albums of drawings by Hans Holbein and Leonardo da Vinci. These were probably presented to Charles by Arundel's grandson around 1670. Other Italian drawings in Charles's collection bear evidence of earlier English ownership, such as the star stamps associated with the collectors Nicholas and Jerome Lanier, and the price codes of the art dealer William Gibson.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.