World-class drawings from Chatsworth return to Sheffield's Millennium Gallery

World-class drawings from Chatsworth return to Sheffield's Millennium Gallery

04 September 2020

Over 50 works from one of the UK’s most significant collections of Old Master drawings are set to return to Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery this month after wowing visitors earlier this year.  Reopening on Saturday 12 September, Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth features works by Carpaccio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and more. The exhibition is the largest display of drawings from the collection in over twenty years.

When Lines of Beauty first opened its doors in February it was seen by over 12,000 visitors in its first two weeks alone, making it one of the Millennium Gallery’s most popular exhibitions. When the exhibition reopens this month visitors won’t have to worry about the crowds – the measures Museums Sheffield have implemented to keep everyone safe include limiting numbers in the building to ensure every visitor has chance to enjoy the remarkable works on display whilst comfortably maintaining social distancing.

To avoid disappointment, visitors are encouraged to pre-book their free visit to the exhibition. Pre-booking and reduced numbers are part of a range comprehensive safety measure in place, which also include enhanced cleaning, hand sanitiser stations and changes to the building’s air handling system to continuously bring in fresh air. Visitors can plan and book their visit online at museums-sheffield.org.uk/welcome-back

Amassed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dukes of Devonshire, the Chatsworth collection of Old Master Drawings comprises around 1,800 works by some of the most important artists of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

When the collection was originally established over 300 years ago, viewing of these works would have been reserved for the social elites of the time. Today, the drawings form part of regular changing public displays at their Chatsworth home. Opportunities to see them en masse remain limited due to the need to safeguard these delicate works on paper from light damage. As such, only a small selection of works is usually available to view at any one time

Curated by Museums Sheffield in partnership with Chatsworth, Lines of Beauty brings together 59 drawings from the collection.
The exhibition marks the first time the drawings, which represent some of the highlights of The Devonshire Collections, have been seen in Sheffield since 1966. 

Kirstie Hamilton, Director of Programmes at Museums Sheffield said: ‘We’re thrilled to see Lines of Beauty return to the Millennium Gallery. The exhibition had such a wonderful response from visitors when it first opened and throughout our lockdown closure period we had lots of enquiries asking if it would be coming back. It’s great to be able to reopen the exhibition and give people another chance to enjoy these incredible works.’

Kate Brindley, Director of Collections & Exhibitions at Chatsworth said:‘We are delighted to have worked with Museums Sheffield to extend the loan of Chatsworth’s Old Master drawings, enabling Lines of Beauty to reopen. The exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity to see this incredible collection, which is so rarely on display. Now that Chatsworth has also reopened, we hope that visitors who enjoy the exhibition will take the opportunity to visit us and learn more about our collection.’

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth reopens at the Millennium Gallery on Saturday 12 September and continues until 1 Nov 2020. Entry to the exhibition is free. The exhibition at the Millennium Gallery is generously sponsored by CMS Law.

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth will continue at The Lightbox, Woking in early 2021 with a revised selection of works from The Devonshire Collections.

Visitors can plan and book their visit  to the Millennium Gallery online at: museums-sheffield.org.uk/welcome-back