Front of the Gallery

About the Collection

European Prints, Drawings and Photographs

Apart from a very few minor, early acquisitions, the historical branch of the European collection was not initiated until 1908 when the Scottish-born merchant, politician and collector David Murray, bequeathed to the Gallery a large collection of 3000 German, Netherlandish, French and Italian Old Master prints and a few drawings. Included in the bequest was a sum of money which enables the Gallery to continue to buy prints. This area is now one of the richest and is certainly the largest of the Gallery’s collection. The greatest European masters are represented: Mantegna, Dürer, Lucas Cranach, Titian, the only print every produced by Rubens (St Catherine of Alexandria), Rembrandt, Goya and many major modern artists. Murray’s core collection was greatly enhanced by subsequent buyers and benefactors. One highlight of the works on paper collection is in the area of eighteenth- and nineteenth–century English prints. Here are included satirical and political prints by William Hogarth, Thomas Rowlandson, George Cruickshank and James Gillray, as well as William Blake’s Book of Job, Turner’s Liber Studiorum, and a selection of Pre-Raphaelite prints and drawings by William Holman Hunt, John Millais, Aubrey Beardsley, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and others.

Other areas of the works on paper collection have been developed in more recent years with the purchase of first edition sets of Goya’s Disasters of War, Los Caprichos and Los Disparates. The European drawing collection includes fine examples of the work of Tintoretto, Taddeo Zuccaro, Federico Barocci, Luca Cambiaso, van Dyck, Guercino and Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, among other great European draughtsmen. Nineteenth- and twentieth-century artists are also represented, including French works by Eugène Delacroix, Jean-François Millet, Pierre Bonnard, Camille Pissarro, as well as the German artists George Grosz and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Other highlights of the European graphics collection include prints by Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, Gauguin, Manet, Renoir, Otto Dix, Max Beckmann, Emil Nolde, Käthe Kollwitz and Edvard Munch.