Sketches and Studies
Before beginning their paintings, artists often produce preparatory sketches and studies to refine their compositions. But these sketches and studies are hardly just a means to end—for centuries, artists and collectors have valued these works for their liveliness and informality. Sometimes artists have even blurred the lines between their sketches and finished works, bringing a sketch-like spontaneity to their finished paintings, or exhibiting sketches publicly. Browse a selection of painted sketches and studies from the museum’s collections of European Art.