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A male nude seen from behind©

Drawing was central to the practice of almost all Italian artists of the Renaissance and Baroque. In this section of the exhibition can be seen compositional sketches, life studies, designs for altarpieces, frescoes, prints, tapestries, woodwork, sculpture and architecture, models for the approval of patrons, and drawings produced as works of art in their own right.

The most common drawing materials of the fifteenth century had been metalpoint (a silver stylus on prepared paper) and pen and ink. Metalpoint was supplanted around 1500 by natural red and black chalks, and over the next two centuries artists frequently used combinations of coloured grounds, chalk, pen and ink, washes of dilute ink, and white highlights, to create drawings of great sophistication and beauty.

Historically, relatively few collectors, and only two British monarchs, have shown a serious interest in old master drawings. Charles II seems to have acquired most of the Renaissance drawings now in the Royal Collection; and George III acquired almost all of the Baroque drawings, most notably through the purchase in 1762 of the collections of both Consul Joseph Smith in Venice, and Cardinal Alessandro Albani in Rome.

Also present are some of the Royal Library's notable books and bindings of the period.

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.