The Lady Lever Art Gallery’s works on paper collection is made up of around 700 fine art works. These include watercolours, drawings and prints by British and European artists. Highlights of the collection are; the Old Master drawings from the studio of Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669), masterpiece watercolours by JMW Turner (1775–1851) and pencil studies by Edward Burne-Jones (1833–1898).
Lever’s interest lay predominantly in British art. He was determined to demonstrate the high quality of British art production during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and this included the remarkable achievements in watercolour of artists such as David Cox (1783 - 1859), Peter DeWint (1784-1849) and Turner. He also collected European art works associated with his British and Napoleonic interests. Several of the Old Master drawings in the collection were previously owned by major British artists including Edward John Poynter (1836 - 1919), while others demonstrate the relationship between Continental and British painting.
Our works on paper are rarely displayed due to their light-sensitivity. They are exhibited for short periods as part of temporary exhibitions and displays at the gallery. Exhibitions from the collection have included ‘Turner: Travel, Light and Landscape’ (2014) and ‘Picturing Venice’ (2015).