Drawings made to help their makers visualise thought
First Concept of a Front-Wheel Drive, Transverse-Engine Vehicle, Alec Issigonis, 1956. Museum no. E.210-1992
First Concept of a Front-Wheel Drive, Transverse-Engine Vehicle
Alec Issigonis (1906–1988)
Ballpoint pen and pencil on wove paper
Width 25.3 cm x height 32.9 cm
Museum no. E.210-1992
Bequeathed by the designer
This sketch helped Issigonis to think through his ideas for the design of a car along new principles.
Sketch of the Pilgrim for' Love and the Pilgrim', Edward Coley Burne-Jones, 1869. Museum no. E.1613-1926
Sketch of the Pilgrim for 'Love and the Pilgrim'
Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-1898)
Chalk on paper
Sketchbook width 14.6 cm x height 26.2 cm
Museum no. E.1613-1926
This figure is draped in the finished composition but on this sheet the artist has tried out variations of the pose with the figure naked. The finished composition is known as a painting on which the artist worked for some twenty years and as an embroidery.
First Thoughts for the Building for the Great Exhibition of 1851, Joseph Paxton, 1850. Museum no. E.575-1985
First Thoughts for the Building for the Great Exhibition of 1851
Joseph Paxton (1791-1865)
Ink on blotting paper
Width 28 cm x height 39.1 cm
Museum no. E.575-1985
Paxton had these thoughts during a board meeting of the Midland Railway, hence the doodle on blotting paper. The sketches show a cross section and a side elevation.
Christ Crowned with Thorns, Anthony Van Dyke, about 1620. Museum no. Dyce 525
Christ Crowned with Thorns
Anthony Van Dyke (1599-1641)
Ink and brown wash on laid paper
Width 20.7 cm x height 23.3 cm
Museum no. Dyce 525
This is one of several studies that Van Dyke made for this subject of which he made two paintings. The studies enabled him to experiment with the content, structure and mood of the final paintings. Ultimately the subject was treated with greater restraint than in this study. The sketch was thus made as part of his thinking towards the finished composition.
Studies for the painting ‘The death of Decius Mus’, Peter Paul Rubens, about 1617. Museum no. Dyce 516
Studies for the painting ‘The death of Decius Mus’
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Black chalk, heightened with white on laid paper
Width 31 cm x height 41.2 cm
Museum no. Dyce 516
The vigorously drawn studies on this sheet show the painter experimenting freely with various arm movements which are key features in the finished painting.
Design for an altar, Francesco di Simone, about 1460-1490. Museum no. 4903
Design for an altar
Francesco di Simone (1437-1493)
Black chalk, ink and wash on laid paper
Width 28 cm x height 44.5 cm
Museum no. 4903
There are seven known drawings by Simone (including two others in the V&A’s collection) which show him trying out different combinations of tabernacles and altars as if he were trying to work out the most elegant solution.