top of page
Drawn to Life

Drawn to Life


Master Drawings from the Age of Rembrandt in the Peck Collection at the Ackland Art Museum



This beautifully illustrated catalogue presents a selection of exceptional seventeenth-century Dutch drawings from the Peck Collection in the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Featuring many previously unpublished and rarely exhibited works, the catalogue brings together examples by some of the best-known artists of the era such as Rembrandt, Jacques de Gheyn II, Samuel van Hoogstraten, and Frans van Mieris.


The collection was donated to the museum in 2017 by the late Drs. Sheldon and Leena Peck. The transformative gift is comprised of over 130 largely seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish drawings, establishing the Ackland as one of a handful of university art museums in the United States where northern European drawings can be studied in depth.


Drawn to Life presents around 70 works from this exceptional and diverse group of drawings amassed by the Pecks over four decades. Featuring new research and fresh insights into seventeenth-century drawing practice, the catalogue and accompanyingexhibition celebrates the creativity and technical skills of Dutch artists who explored the beauty of the natural world and the multifaceted aspects of humanity.


The catalogue features a broad selection of scenes of everyday life, landscapes, biblical and historical scenes, portraits, and preparatory studies, forming a dynamic and representative group of Dutch drawings made by some of the most outstanding artists of the period, including Abraham Bloemaert, Jacob van Ruisdael, Esaias van de Velde, Bartholomeus Breenbergh, Pieter Molijn, Aelbert Cuyp, Adriaen van Ostade, Ferdinand Bol, Nicolaes Maes, Jan Lievens, Gerard ter Borch, Adriaen van de Velde, Nicolaes Berchem, and Cornelis Dusart. Key sheets of remarkable quality by lesser known

artists such as Guillam Dubois, Herman Naiwincx, Willem Romeyn, and Jacob van der Ulft, also comprise a core strength of the collection, and serve as a testament to the visual acuity of the Pecks as collectors.


At the heart of the Peck Collection are several sheets by Rembrandt, including the sublime Noli me Tangere; a beautifully rendered late landscape, Canal and Boats with a Distant View of Amsterdam; and the superbly charming Studies of Women and Children, which was the last of Rembrandt’s seventeen known drawings with an inscription in his own hand to reach a public collection.


Meticulously researched and written by Robert Fucci, Ph.D., Drawn to Life introduces both scholars and drawings enthusiasts to the depth and beauty of the Peck Collection at the Ackland Art Museum.

  • Robert Fucci

    September 2022

    Hardback, 280 x 245 mm

    288 pages, 350 colour illus.

    ISBN: 978-1-913645-32-8


    About the author

    Robert Fucci is a lecturer in art history at the University of Amsterdam, and also serves as the Peck Collection Research Fellow for the Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He specializes in Dutch and Flemish art of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, with a special focus on works on paper.

  • Exhibition

    The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill

    23 September – 31 December 2022


    The Rembrandt House Museum, Amsterdam

    4 March – 28 May 2023

  • In the press

    "From an intellectual perspective this catalogue is a monumental achievement. It is also a splendidly designed book, beautifully illustrated and enriched with a sprinkling of enticing details that underscore so many of the salient characteristics of Dutch draftsmanship." —HNA Reviews

bottom of page