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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

Annotations on old drawings

Inscriptions on drawings will reveal sometimes lots of information. Besides the signature of the artist which shows that the drawing is finished, it does not need to receive adjustments, you are able to tell when the drawing was made, where with an exact location, even sometimes the food menu of a all week for the artist. Notations may also show the provenance of a drawing, the identity of the owner etc.


Artists started to sign their drawings at the end of the 15th century. Printmakers were signing their work before them. Provenance

The owners themselves added sometimes notes to the drawings that could induce errors to errors in their analysis. Owners sometimes added the provenance of a drawing


Collectors of drawings started to add their coat of arms, stamps with their own monogram, or simply their own name. This practice stated in the 16th century

Time, place and subject

Notes added by an artist to the drawing can give us information about the period he made the drawing, the place etc. But not only it can help us to locate the drawing in a suite of drawings etc

Unrelated inscriptions

We see drawings with unrelated inscriptions to the drawing itself. In the 15th century paper was rare, so artists used the paper to note recipes, food menus, all kind of notes exactly like we use to keep today .

Complete illustrated post

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