Robert Lehman was a member of the first generation of American collectors to embrace what we call modern art. This volume catalogues 207 nineteenth- and twentieth-century European drawings that are now part of the Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. More than three-quarters of these drawings are French, but there are also sheets from Italy, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. Most are from the nineteenth century, but Robert Lehman also acquired, in some cases from the artists themselves, a number of drawings made during his own lifetime.
The catalogue begins with drawings by David and Goya, the two most important artists in Europe at the turn of the nineteenth century, and it concludes with a group of watercolors made in the 1940s by the painter Marcel Vertès. Among the French drawings are outstanding sheets by Delacroix, Ingres, Chassériau, Corot, Daumier, Matisse, Vlaminck, and Villon. Drawings by Renoir, Morisot, Sisley, Pissarro, and Degas represent the Impressionists, and Robert Lehman also assembled one of the finest private collections of Neo-Impressionist drawings, including canonical works by Seurat, Signac, Cross, and Pissarro. More than 200 comparative illustrations supplement the catalogue entries, and the volume includes a bibliography and indexes.