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Henri Matisse 'Femme assise crayon et encre papier'
A exhibition reveals the brilliant technique behind some of the worlds greatest artists - as their stunning drawings come up for auction.
Preparatory sketches are for most people nowadays the only way to ever own an original work by a famous artist and more than 1,000 drawings from some of the world's most famous have emerged on the market.
The remarkable collection, which features drawings and preparatory sketches by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Edgar Degas and Salvador Dali, will be showcased at the six-day Salon Du Dessin exhibition in Paris in March.
Notable works are tipped to sell for hundreds of thousands of euros and the overall value of the collection is estimated at 25-30 million euros.
Drawings have become increasingly collectible in the past 10 years as they are seen as a more affordable way of getting hold of works from the art greats.
Included in the sale are Matisse's 1944 drawing of 'apples' with pen and ink on paper, Degas' 'dancer' with charcoal on paper, Picasso's 'women with flowers' with pen and red pencil on paper and Dali's 'Madonna with Christ' using watercolour, ink and a ball-point pen.
Degas' sketch of a dancer bares a striking resemblance to his famous sculpture of The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer in 1881.