Drawn from Life: People on Paper

Spanning over a century of British art, Drawn from Life: People on Paper brings together over 50 drawings by some of Britain’s most celebrated artists.

Artists have been drawing the figure for centuries, from carefully composed life drawings to people caught unaware at leisure or work. The majority of the drawings in this publication are drawn from observation, though some are from memory or imagination; some are unfinished studies while others are finished works in their own right. Perhaps some of the most surprising examples are those from very early on in artists’ careers, such as a self-portrait by Richard Hamilton from 1938, the carefully drawn Mrs Ash Asleep by Howard Hodgkin from 1952, Peter Blake’s Portrait of a Man from 1950, and Eduardo Paolozzi’s Drawings from Rembrandt, 1945.

Author Martin Herbert explores these small masterpieces from the Arts Council Collection to uncover the development of figurative drawing in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries.

Artists include Frank Auerbach, Peter Blake, Lucian Freud, Elisabeth Frink, Antony Gormley, Richard Hamilton, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Howard Hodgkin, Gwen John, Michael Landy, Wyndham Lewis, Henry Moore, Eduardo Paolozzi, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer, Euan Uglow, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and many others.


AVAILABLE TO BUY via Southbank Centre Shop


Foreword by Jill Constantine

Essay by Martin Herbert

Texts by Ben Fergusson, Beth Hughes, Ann Jones and Natalie Rudd


February 2016


92 pages

15.4 x 22.7 cm

52 colour illustrations

RRP £14.99

ISBN 978 1 85332 342 3

Designed by David Pearson



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.