Current Exhibition

Drawn from the Antique: Artists & the Classical Ideal

25 June - 26 September 2015. Admission free

Discover how drawing from ancient sculpture had an enduring influence on European artists over five centuries.



A Painter’s Studio, Michael Sweerts, c. 1646 - c. 1650. With permission from the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


This exhibition provides a unique insight into the practice of drawing from ancient sculpture and its influence on the visual arts from the Renaissance through to the nineteenth century. For half a millennium, students of art would use classical statues - and their representations of beauty - to understand the form of the human body. Although the practice eventually fell into decline, it remains crucial to our understanding and appreciation of European art.

Following a hugely successful run at the Teylers Museum in the Netherlands, this major exhibition is the Soane Museum’s largest international loan show to date, bringing together works from ten leading museums in Europe and North America, including the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Kunsthaus, Zürich, the British Museum, the Royal Academy of Art, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Courtauld Gallery.



Above: Self-Portrait with Casts: The Image Seller, William Daniels, c.1850. With permission from the Katrin Bellinger collection


Featuring both iconic and rarely seen artworks, this exhibition will offer visitors the chance to admire pieces by artists including Rubens, Fuseli, Turner and Zuccaro. Fifteen of the works are from the Katrin Bellinger collection.

Drawn from the Antique: Artists & the Classical Ideal runs from 25 June - 26 September 2015. Admission is free. Curator-led tours will take place on 3 July, 7 August and 4 September and are free of charge but must be booked in advance.

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