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  • Alexander Cozens, 'Rocky Bay Scene' ?circa 1759-65
    Alexander Cozens
    Rocky Bay Scene ?circa 1759-65
    Oil on paper
    support: 160 x 187 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John Hamilton Mortimer, 'Caricature Heads' date not known
    John Hamilton Mortimer
    Caricature Heads date not known
    Pen and ink and ink wash on paper
    support: 251 x 162 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Francis Towne, 'Near Florence' date not known
    Francis Towne
    Near Florence date not known
    Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 156 x 211 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Francis Towne, 'Naples and Capri' 1798
    Francis Towne
    Naples and Capri 1798
    Watercolour on paper
    support: 407 x 613 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Francis Barlow, 'Small Birds, including Pheasants, a Jay and a Swallow' date not known
    Francis Barlow
    Small Birds, including Pheasants, a Jay and a Swallow date not known
    Watercolour and pen and ink on paper
    support: 150 x 196 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Thomas Gainsborough, 'Study of a Cow' date not known
    Thomas Gainsborough
    Study of a Cow date not known
    Pencil on paper
    support: 144 x 189 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Thomas Carwitham, 'Fantasy of Flight' circa 1713-1733
    Thomas Carwitham
    Fantasy of Flight circa 1713-1733
    Pen and ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 370 x 238 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John Robert Cozens, 'View from Isola Borromea, Lago Maggiore' circa 1783
    John Robert Cozens
    View from Isola Borromea, Lago Maggiore circa 1783
    Watercolour and pencil on paper
    support: 264 x 383 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John Flaxman, 'Alcestis and Admetus' 1789
    John Flaxman
    Alcestis and Admetus 1789
    Pen and ink, watercolour and pencil on paper
    support: 238 x 417 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Thomas Jones, 'The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse' 1782
    Thomas Jones
    The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse 1782
    Oil on paper
    support: 245 x 396 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John Sell Cotman, 'Doorway of the Refectory, Rievaulx Abbey' 1803
    John Sell Cotman
    Doorway of the Refectory, Rievaulx Abbey 1803
    Watercolour and pencil on paper
    support: 319 x 255 mm
    support, secondary: 327 x 264 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Thomas Uwins, 'A Study of Hops' circa 1811
    Thomas Uwins
    A Study of Hops circa 1811
    Pencil and watercolour on paper
    support: 345 x 222 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • William Pars, 'A Bridge on the River Ticino, near Polleggio' circa 1770
    William Pars
    A Bridge on the River Ticino, near Polleggio circa 1770
    Pencil and watercolour on paper
    support: 243 x 337 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, 'A Goose and Two Headless Men' date not known
    Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland
    A Goose and Two Headless Men date not known
    Pencil, watercolour and pen and ink on paper
    support: 105 x 167 mm
    frame (Half Royal): 310 x 437 x 25 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John `Warwick' Smith, '5. Grotto of Pausilippo' 1778-9
    John `Warwick' Smith
    5. Grotto of Pausilippo 1778-9
    Pencil and watercolour on paper
    support: 189 x 243 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • David Cox, 'A Railway Engine' date not known
    David Cox
    A Railway Engine date not known
    Watercolour and pastel on paper
    support: 85 x 113 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • George Dance, 'Tommy Corno Common Council Man of Candlewick Ward' date not known
    George Dance
    Tommy Corno Common Council Man of Candlewick Ward date not known
    Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 178 x 149 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John William Inchbold, 'Venice, Nocturne. San Giorgio Maggiore' date not known
    John William Inchbold
    Venice, Nocturne. San Giorgio Maggiore date not known
    Pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper
    support: 179 x 256 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Richard Wilson, 'A Grotto' date not known
    Richard Wilson
    A Grotto date not known
    Chalk on paper
    support: 234 x 306 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Thomas Stothard, 'Hafod' circa 1810
    Thomas Stothard
    Hafod circa 1810
    Pencil on paper
    support: 209 x 164 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • British School 18th century, 'A Catafalque with Candles' date not known
    British School 18th century
    A Catafalque with Candles date not known
    Pencil, pen and ink and watercolour on paper
    support: 290 x 221 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • John Downman, 'Thomas Williams, a Black Sailor' 1815
    John Downman
    Thomas Williams, a Black Sailor 1815
    Chalk and pencil on paper
    support, secondary: 323 x 297 mm
    support: 315 x 285 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Charles Martin, '[title not known]' date not known
    Charles Martin
    [title not known] date not known
    Pen and ink on paper
    support: 200 x 127 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, 'S. Giorgio and the Salute' date not known
    Hercules Brabazon Brabazon
    S. Giorgio and the Salute date not known
    Watercolour on paper
    support: 129 x 184 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
  • British (?) School, '[title not known] Verso: [title not known]' date not known
    British (?) School
    [title not known] Verso: [title not known] date not known
    Pen and ink on paper, Pencil on paper
    support: 160 x 149 mm
    Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Formed by the distinguished scholar and collector Paul Oppé (1878–1957), this was one of the last major collections of British watercolours and drawings to have stayed in private hands. The collection has long been regarded as being of national importance and was acquired by Tate in 1996.

The Oppé Collection comprises over 3,000 works of art on paper, including portraits, figurative drawings, and most notably landscapes from the ‘golden age’ of British watercolour painting (1750–1850).

Among the most striking are those produced by artists working in Switzerland and Italy in the era of the Grand Tour, including Richard Wilson, Francis Towne, JR Cozens, John ‘Warwick’ Smith, John Downman, William Marlow and William Pars.

The acquisition of the Oppé Collection was made possible by grants from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and from the National Art Collections Fund. The cataloguing of the Oppé Collection has also been supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Prints and Drawings Rooms

The full range of Oppé Collection prints and drawings can be surveyed in the Prints and Drawings Rooms.