Chatsworth Old Master drawings​​​​​​​ on show again at Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery

More than 50 works from the Chatsworth collection of Old Master drawings are set to return to Sheffield’s Millennium Gallery this weekend after wowing visitors earlier this year.

Monday, 7th September 2020, 7:14 pm
Museums Sheffield curator Ashley Gallant and Charles Noble, curator (fine art) for the Devonshire Estate, working on setting up the exhibition back in February
Museums Sheffield curator Ashley Gallant and Charles Noble, curator (fine art) for the Devonshire Estate, working on setting up the exhibition back in February

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth features works by Carpaccio, Poussin, Rembrandt, Rubens, Van Dyck and more. The exhibition is the largest display of drawings from the collection in more than 20 years.

When Lines of Beauty opened in February it was seen by more than 12,000 visitors in its first two weeks alone, making it one of the Millennium Gallery’s most popular exhibitions.

Museums Sheffield have implemented measures to keep everyone safe, including limiting numbers in the building, to ensure every visitor has chance to enjoy the remarkable works on display whilst comfortably maintaining social distancing.

To avoid disappointment, visitors are encouraged to pre-book their free visit. Other safety measure include enhanced cleaning, hand sanitiser stations and changes to the building’s air handling system to continuously bring in fresh air.

Visitors can plan and book their visit online at

Amassed by the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dukes of Devonshire, the Chatsworth collection of Old Master Drawings comprises around 1,800 works by some of the most important artists of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.

When the collection was originally established more than 300 years ago, viewing of these works would have been reserved for the social elites of the time.

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings fromm Chatsworth at the Millennium Gallery, Sheffield

Today, the drawings form part of regular changing public displays at their Chatsworth home. Opportunities to see them en masse remain limited due to the need to safeguard these delicate works on paper from light damage. Only a small selection of works is usually available to view at any one time

Curated by Museums Sheffield in partnership with Chatsworth, Lines of Beauty brings together 59 drawings from the collection.

The exhibition marks the first time the drawings, which represent some of the highlights of The Devonshire Collections, have been seen in Sheffield since 1966.

Kirstie Hamilton, director of programmes at Museums Sheffield, said: “We’re thrilled to see Lines of Beauty return to the Millennium Gallery.

"The exhibition had such a wonderful response from visitors when it first opened and throughout our lockdown closure period we had lots of inquiries asking if it would be coming back.

"It’s great to be able to reopen the exhibition and give people another chance to enjoy these incredible works.”

Kate Brindley, director of collections and exhibitions at Chatsworth, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Museums Sheffield to extend the loan of Chatsworth’s Old Master drawings, enabling Lines of Beauty to reopen.

"The exhibition provides a wonderful opportunity to see this incredible collection, which is so rarely on display. Now that Chatsworth has also reopened, we hope that visitors who enjoy the exhibition will take the opportunity to visit us and learn more about our collection.”

Lines of Beauty: Master Drawings from Chatsworth reopens at the Millennium Gallery on Saturday and continues until November 1. Entry to the exhibition, sponsored by CMS Law, is free.

Thank you to all who support local journalism with a print subscription. The events of 2020 mean trusted, local journalism is more reliant than ever on your support. We couldn't do it without you. Please subscribe here so we can keep campaigning on your behalf. Stay safe.