Indepth Arts News: |
"Drawing Materials and Techniques: Works on Paper from the Oppe Collection 1700-1850"
2001-06-18 until 2001-08-26
UK United Kingdom
Thomas Gainsborough and Richard Wilson are two of the artists whose drawings feature
in a new exhibition at Tate Britain. Drawing Materials and Techniques: Works on Paper
from the Oppe Collection 1700-1850 provides a unique opportunity to gain an in-depth
understanding of the drawing materials used by British artists. It is the second Tate
exhibition focusing exclusively on works from the Oppe Collection, which was purchased
by Tate in 1996.
Rather than placing emphasis on the artist, or the subject and content of the drawings, the
exhibition looks closely at the materials and techniques used to create them. Most works
in the exhibition will be on display for the first time, and visitors will have a rare opportunity
to gain a broader knowledge of the work of British masters such as Gainsborough,
Wilson, Alexander Cozens, Francis Towne and George Romney. A number of
lesser-known British artists also feature in the exhibition.
The exhibition will be arranged in sections according to the medium used and drawing
materials featured include graphite, chalk, charcoal and inks. Working recipes by artists
including Cozens and Gainsborough will also be revealed. Technical instruments will be
analysed in depth and include drawing aids such as the camera obscura, which has
been used by artists from Jan Vermeer to David Hockney, and eighteenth and
nineteenth-century pencils and quill pens, including those from the Reeves Collection.
There will also be information about the methods used by present day conservators to
identify drawing media.
The Oppé Collection is a famous collection of British watercolours and drawings formed
by Paul Oppé (1878-1957), a pioneering scholar in this field. It was acquired by Tate in
1996 with support from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the
National Art Collections Fund. It comprises some 3,000 works which date from the last
years of the sixteenth century through to the early 1900s. Though this collection includes a
huge variety of subjects including figure drawings, portraits and studies for paintings, the
overwhelming bias is towards landscape, reflecting the extraordinary flowering of the
British watercolour school from 1750-1850.