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Sketches Collection

"Capturing History and Imagination: The Artistry of Sketches" they have long been a window into the creative minds of artists, offering glimpses into their thoughts

Background imageSketches Collection: The Last Caravan by A. E. Bestall

The Last Caravan by A. E. Bestall
A colour illustration by Alfred Bestall showing a fantasy scene where a group of travellers are being spied on from woodland by a centaur and female imps

Background imageSketches Collection: Da Vincis crossbow

Da Vincis crossbow. Late 19th Century reproduction of a page from a notebook written by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), showing his design for a giant crossbow. Published circa 1894-1904

Background imageSketches Collection: Stephen Wards sketches of celebrities, 1960

Stephen Wards sketches of celebrities, 1960
Through a doctors eyes: a page of celebrities drawn by osteopath and gifted amateur artist Doctor Stephen Ward(1912-1963), as featured in The Illustrated London News in 1960

Background imageSketches Collection: Gypsy Lee, the fortune teller

Gypsy Lee, the fortune teller
Sketches of Gypsy life: a camp near Latimer Road near Notting Hill showing Gypsy Lee, the fortune teller at the Devils Dyke

Background imageSketches Collection: The Skye crofters Land League Agitation

The Skye crofters Land League Agitation
Sketches in the Isle of Skye: the Crofters Land League. 1.Staffin, from the Bay. 2.Crofters huts in Portree. 3.Women of the crofters. 4. A Skye landlord. 5

Background imageSketches Collection: Newtons telescope, historical artwork

Newtons telescope, historical artwork
Newtons telescope. Historical reproduction of a sketch by Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) of a reflecting telescope and its components

Background imageSketches Collection: The Modern Girl by Wilton Williams

The Modern Girl by Wilton Williams
A series of sketches by Wilton Williams, subtitled Full dress and bathing dress (other artists show undress, and underwear in this series of three) showing the modern girl of 1925

Background imageSketches Collection: Manneken Pis Postcard Album - A Duel

Manneken Pis Postcard Album - A Duel
A duel - three street urchins help their friend to mimic the statue! Manneken Pis (Dutch for little pee man ), also known in French as the petit Julien, is a very famous Brussels landmark

Background imageSketches Collection: The Mikado at the Savoy

The Mikado at the Savoy
Sketches from The Mikado at the Savoy Theatre in London: The Mikado (Mr R. Temple), Nanki-Pooh (Mr Durward Lely), Katisha (Miss Brandram), Pooh-Bah (Mr R)

Background imageSketches Collection: Highgate, London, 1888

Highgate, London, 1888
Engraving showing a number of sketches of Highgate, in North London, 1888

Background imageSketches Collection: Eve Before The Fall. By A. E. Bestall

Eve Before The Fall. By A. E. Bestall
A scene beside a waterfall of four girls in their bathing costumes. The girls are watching the waterfall, prehaps resting after swimming

Background imageSketches Collection: Leonardo Sketches

Leonardo Sketches
LEONARDO DA VINCI A page of sketches of flying machines

Background imageSketches Collection: Horace Shorts notebook - sketches of Wright Flyer at Pau

Horace Shorts notebook - sketches of Wright Flyer at Pau
A page from Horace Shorts notebook containing his detailed sketches of the Wright Flyer made at Pau, France, in February 1909. Date: 1909

Background imageSketches Collection: A robot to open an exhibition: the new mechanical man

A robot to open an exhibition: the new mechanical man
Photograph and sketches of an aluminium man, the first British robot invented by Captain Richards and Mr. A.H. Refell. The machine could rise, bow and make a speech

Background imageSketches Collection: Portrait of an unknown youth, possibly a self-portrait, WA1846

Portrait of an unknown youth, possibly a self-portrait, WA1846
3959818 Portrait of an unknown youth, possibly a self-portrait, WA1846.158 (black chalk with white heightening) by Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio of Urbino) (1483-1520); Ashmolean Museum

Background imageSketches Collection: Sketches of an Irish Wolfhound by Cecil Aldin

Sketches of an Irish Wolfhound by Cecil Aldin
Two sketches of an Irish Wolfhound by Cecil Aldin -- probably his own dog Mickie. Date: 1939

Background imageSketches Collection: En Pleine Folie at the Folies Bergere

En Pleine Folie at the Folies Bergere
Sketches by Erte for Grands Flueves du Monde (the Great Rivers of the World) in En Pleine Folie at the Folies Bergere, Paris, 1923 (showing the Rhine, the Nile, the Ganges and the Amazon)

Background imageSketches Collection: Manneken Pis Postcard Album - Nun and Children

Manneken Pis Postcard Album - Nun and Children
Embarrased nun: " Look to the left my children". The nun leads a group of schoolgirls (one snubbing her nose), holding an umbrella to shield their innocent eyes from the little boy statue

Background imageSketches Collection: Aubreys Plan of Avebury

Aubreys Plan of Avebury
John Aubreys plan of Avebury. Aubrey was an English antiquary, who suplimented his writings on sites with detailed plans and sketches

Background imageSketches Collection: Play / Ibsen / Hedda Gabler

Play / Ibsen / Hedda Gabler
A series of simple sketches of Eleonora Duse

Background imageSketches Collection: Violet [Note?]...The Return of the Fishing Boats, c. 1885. Creator: James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Violet [Note?]...The Return of the Fishing Boats, c. 1885. Creator: James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Violet [Note?]...The Return of the Fishing Boats, c. 1885

Background imageSketches Collection: Village Shop, Chelsea, 1883/1884. Creator: James Abbott McNeill Whistler

Village Shop, Chelsea, 1883/1884. Creator: James Abbott McNeill Whistler
Village Shop, Chelsea, 1883/1884

Background imageSketches Collection: Three Studies of Horses, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Three Studies of Horses, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Three Studies of Horses, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Sketches of Thurso (engraving)

Sketches of Thurso (engraving)
1602528 Sketches of Thurso (engraving) by Read, Samuel (1816-83); Private Collection; (add.info.: Sketches of Thurso. Illustration for The Illustrated London News, 7 October 1876)

Background imageSketches Collection: A Portrait Sketch (oil on canvas)

A Portrait Sketch (oil on canvas)
5889097 A Portrait Sketch (oil on canvas) by Jopling, Louise, nee Goode (1843-1933); 50.8x40 cm; Private Collection; (add.info.: Labelled verso)

Background imageSketches Collection: Rosie - Murrays Cabaret Club costume design

Rosie - Murrays Cabaret Club costume design
Rosie - Original costume design for one of the performers at Murrays Cabaret Club, 16-18 Beak Street, Soho, London

Background imageSketches Collection: Allegories of Pleasure and Pain and of Envy, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Allegories of Pleasure and Pain and of Envy, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Allegories of Pleasure and Pain and of Envy, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Embouchure De La Seine A Honfleur, c1865. Artist: Claude Monet

Embouchure De La Seine A Honfleur, c1865. Artist: Claude Monet
Embouchure De La Seine A Honfleur, c1865. From The Studio Volume 65. [London Offices of the Studio, London, 1915]

Background imageSketches Collection: Royal Wedding 1947 - bride and bridesmaid dresses

Royal Wedding 1947 - bride and bridesmaid dresses
A fairytale wedding gown by Norman Hartnell for Princess Elizabeth, in itself a tribute to British skill in design and workmanship

Background imageSketches Collection: In Possession. By A. E. Bestall

In Possession. By A. E. Bestall
Three girls sat on a bank by a stream watching a crab under the water. Alfred Bestall (1892-1986) is best-known as the artist who drew Rupert Bear for thirty years

Background imageSketches Collection: Doin the Lambeth Walk - Oi

Doin the Lambeth Walk - Oi! These sketches, made by Sherriffs, are dedicated to The Lambeth Walk, dance hit of the musical comedy Me and My Girl (Victoria Palace)

Background imageSketches Collection: Sketches of the British Army (colour litho)

Sketches of the British Army (colour litho)
1039493 Sketches of the British Army (colour litho) by English School, (19th century); Private Collection; (add.info.: Sketches of the British Army)

Background imageSketches Collection: ISADORA DUNCAN 1909

ISADORA DUNCAN 1909
ISADORA DUNCAN American dancer: some action sketches Date: 1878 - 1927

Background imageSketches Collection: A Horseman Trampling on a Fallen Foe, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

A Horseman Trampling on a Fallen Foe, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
A Horseman Trampling on a Fallen Foe, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Studies of Horses and of Horses Heads, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Studies of Horses and of Horses Heads, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Studies of Horses and of Horses Heads, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Seaford Golf Club cartoons

Seaford Golf Club cartoons
A cartoon by Mel of golfers from Seaford Golf Club, Blatchington. Date: 1939

Background imageSketches Collection: Pinner Village (litho)

Pinner Village (litho)
6021553 Pinner Village (litho) by Moul, Duncan (fl.1904-24); Private Collection; (add.info.: Pinner Village. Illustration for Picturesque Middlesex (F E Robinson, 1904).); © Look and Learn

Background imageSketches Collection: The London Tavern, Fenchurch Street (litho)

The London Tavern, Fenchurch Street (litho)
6024938 The London Tavern, Fenchurch Street (litho) by Luker, William (1820-92); Private Collection; (add.info.: The London Tavern, Fenchurch Street)

Background imageSketches Collection: England v Scotland, Sketches at the Rugby Football Match at Blackheath (litho)

England v Scotland, Sketches at the Rugby Football Match at Blackheath (litho)
1040274 England v Scotland, Sketches at the Rugby Football Match at Blackheath (litho) by Gillett, Frank (1874-1927); Private Collection; (add.info.: England v Scotland)

Background imageSketches Collection: Sketches at the Granville Marina, Ramsgate (engraving)

Sketches at the Granville Marina, Ramsgate (engraving)
1049614 Sketches at the Granville Marina, Ramsgate (engraving) by Ralston, William (1848-1911) (after); Private Collection; (add.info.: Sketches at the Granville Marina, Ramsgate)

Background imageSketches Collection: Study of a Womans Head, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Study of a Womans Head, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Study of a Womans Head, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Study of a Rearing Horse, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

Study of a Rearing Horse, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
Study of a Rearing Horse, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: A Horseman, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci

A Horseman, c1480 (1945). Artist: Leonardo da Vinci
A Horseman, c1480 (1945). From The Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. [Reynal & Hitchcock, New York, 1945]

Background imageSketches Collection: Sketches of a bull terrier by Cecil Aldin

Sketches of a bull terrier by Cecil Aldin
Two sketches of a bull terrier by Cecil Aldin -- probably his own dog, Cracker. Date: 1939

Background imageSketches Collection: Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist C018 / 7037

Heinrich Schliemann, German archaeologist C018 / 7037
Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890). 1869 engraving of the German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann is best known as the discoverer of the ruins of the legendary city of Troy

Background imageSketches Collection: Pantomime artist Will Evans with his children

Pantomime artist Will Evans with his children
Will Evans (1866 -1931) was an eccentric comedian who performed in pantomime from a young age, and appeared on the music halls in the 1890s

Background imageSketches Collection: Little Girl playing with her Sailor Doll, 1888

Little Girl playing with her Sailor Doll, 1888
Illustration showing a little Victorian girl playing with her doll, which was dressed as a sailor. This image was originally entitled Now Geraldine Maude

Background imageSketches Collection: Gypsy life inside a tent

Gypsy life inside a tent
Sketches of Gypsy life: inside a tent on Mitcham Common



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"Capturing History and Imagination: The Artistry of Sketches" they have long been a window into the creative minds of artists, offering glimpses into their thoughts, inspirations, and visions. From A. E. Bestall's enchanting illustrations in "The Last Caravan, " to Leonardo da Vinci's intricate designs for his crossbow, sketches transport us to different worlds. In 1960, Stephen Ward unveiled his remarkable sketches of celebrities, showcasing their allure and charisma. Among them was Gypsy Lee, the enigmatic fortune teller who mesmerized audiences with her predictions. These sketches immortalize moments that would otherwise be lost to time. The Savoy Theatre witnessed the magic of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado, " brought to life through vibrant sketches that captured its whimsical characters and elaborate sets. Meanwhile, during World War II in 1944, Lockheed P-38 Lightning aircraft soared across the skies as depicted in action-packed sketches that epitomized bravery and resilience. Horace Shorts' notebook reveals meticulous drawings of the Wright Flyer at Pau—an invaluable record of aviation history. Similarly, Newton's telescope showcases historical artwork depicting scientific discoveries that forever changed our understanding of the universe. "The Modern Girl" by Wilton Williams encapsulates an era defined by social change and empowerment—a testament to women breaking free from societal constraints through fashion and expression. On a different note, Skye crofters' Land League Agitation is vividly portrayed in powerful sketches capturing their fight for justice amidst challenging times. A. E. Bestall returns with "Eve Before The Fall, " a captivating sketch embodying both innocence and temptation—a reminder of humanity's eternal struggle between good and evil. From these diverse examples emerge common threads—the ability to transcend time while evoking emotions within us all. They serve as visual narratives connecting past generations with present ones—reminding us how art can bridge gaps between cultures, eras, and experiences.