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Ars Aemula Naturae collection

Identifier: ubl137

Scope and Contents

The drawings can be divided into two groups: the first group is the result of purchases done during art presentations by the academy, the second consists of life drawings done by members. The prints are either by members or are related to the history of the academy.


  • Bulk second half 18th century until the end of the 19th century

Conditions Governing Use

Regulations that apply during the use of these materials can be found on the website of Leiden University Library.

Regels die van toepassing zijn bij het raadplegen van dit materiaal kunnen worden gevonden op de website van de Universiteitsbibliotheek Leiden.

Biographical / Historical

The Leiden art academy Ars Aemula Naturae was founded in 1799 and evolved out of the earlier Drawing Academy that was abolished in 1795. It exists until the present day as a community of local artists, as a place for mounting exhibitions and as an art school for amateurs.


277 drawings and 26 prints

Language of Materials



Langdurig bruikleen van het Leidse kunstenaarsgenootschap Ars Aemula Naturae, sinds ongeveer 1985, van prenten en tekeningen van Nederlandse kunstenaars.


Protracted loan of the Leiden art academy Ars Aemula Naturae, since around 1985, of prints and drawings by Dutch artists.

Physical Location

Leiden University Library, Special Collections

Other Finding Aids

All works have been recorded in the DigiTool database and can be found under their inventory numbers, PK-T-BA- for the drawings and PK-P-BA- for the prints.

Custodial History

While most drawings were purchased by Ars Aemula Naturae during art presentations at the academy in the years 1860-1886, the life drawings were donated by members of the academy after having been marked out by the directors.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection of prints and drawings was donated as a protracted loan to the Print Room around 1985. In 1997 a group of life drawings was added to the loan.


No additions are to be expected.


  • Jef Schaeps and Christiaan Vogelaar, Tekeningen van Ars Aemula Naturae, Leidens oudste tekengenootschap. Leiden 1994.


The material of this collection can be requested at the Special Collections Reading Room.

Processing Information

The prints and drawings are kept separate from the general collections of drawings and prints. The inventory numbers start either with PK-T-BA (for the drawings) or PK-P-BA (for the prints).

Collection guide of the Ars Aemula Naturae collection (second half 18th century until the end of the 19th century)
Collectie Ars Aemula Naturae
Jef Schaeps, 2009
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Beschrijving is in het Engels.

Repository Details

Part of the Leiden University Libraries Archives & Collections Repository

Witte Singel 27
Leiden 2311 BG Netherlands
+31 71 527 2857