Richard Dorment waxes eloquent about Old Master drawings at the Dulwich Gallery in the Telegraph:
The first thing to say about the selection of drawings and watercolours at the Dulwich Picture Gallery is that they come from a collection that was formed fairly recently and yet would be impossible to replicate today.
The great connoisseur Walter Vitzthum began to buy Old Master drawings for the Art Gallery in Ontario in 1969 – when prices for works on paper were still relatively low and the quality staggering – at least for anyone with taste, knowledge, and a trained eye.
Vitzthum encouraged one of his trustees, Marvin Gelber, to acquire works on paper that he had identified as desirable but didn’t have the funds to acquire. This meant that, throughout the Seventies and Eighties, the gallery kept adding to its core collection by donation and purchase until today it owns 5,000 drawings and watercolours.
What fun they all had. Works on paper are in some ways more difficult to collect than paintings, because attributions are more fluid, copies easier to pass off as originals, and a drawing’s full provenance is rarely secure.
On the other hand, it can be easier to identify an artist’s graphic handwriting in a drawing than in a painting, because a painter can correct or cover errors as he works, whereas it is rare for a draughtsman to erase as his hand moves over the paper, making corrections, trying out new ideas, or even idly drawing comical sketches in the margins. There is something intimate and physical about a working drawing that you don’t get in any other medium.
Drawing Attention (Telegraph)