Millennium Gallery in Sheffield reopens this September with a major exhibition that takes us back to one of the most primary forms of art: drawing, offering a celebration of the elegance and wonder that Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Carpaccio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens and Van Dyck achieved with the simplest of tools. Lines of Beauty has been developed in partnership with Chatsworth House and features over 50 highlights from The Devonshire Collection of Old Master Drawings – classed as one of the finest private drawing collections in the world. Many of the works have rarely been shown outside of Chatsworth House (where the collection is held) due to their delicate nature, making the Sheffield presentation the largest display of the drawings in more than 20 years.
Together, the works selected for Lines of Beauty span the genres of portraiture, landscape, classical and religious narrative. A pastoral scene depicting the classical story and art historical trope of Diana and Callisto by the French artist Claude Lorrain, and a warmly hued, possible self-portrait by the Italian Mannerist artist Federico Zuccari wearing a ruffled cap, are among the pieces named in advance.
The works contained within the Master Drawings collection were amassed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dukes of Devonshire during the 17th and 18th centuries and were originally only intended to be enjoyed by the family and members of the ruling elite. Though the collection remains privately owned, today, public exhibitions of this kind allow a chance for everyone to view and enjoy the treasures that it holds.