DRAWINGS from some of the most celebrated artists to have ever put paint to canvas will be exhibited at Poole Museum, it has been announced.

Work by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Picasso, Matisse and Hockney, will be on show as part of the 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now' showcase.

Poole Museum was chosen as the launch venue for the exhibition - which will include 70 drawings - by the British Museum, where the graphic collection is normally housed.

Borough of Poole (BOP) cabinet portfolio holder for culture and leisure, Cllr Mohan Iyengar, said: "This is a real coup for our town - masterpieces down our High Street and free to view.

"I congratulate the museum team and I encourage everyone to make a note in the calendar to stop by."

The exhibition explores drawing as one of the most effective ways for expressing and representing an artist's ideas, explained a museum spokesman.

Visitors are also urged to bring along their sketchbooks, or ask at the museum for drawing materials, just in case they are inspired by the masters.

BOP museum and arts manager Michael Spender said: "It is great to have this new partnership with the British Museum and 'Lines of thought' will look amazing in our newly redesigned and fitted exhibition galleries."

After its Poole launch, the exhibition - supported by the Bridget Riley Art Foundation - will move northwards to Hull and eventually onto Belfast.

The refit of Poole Museum's exhibition galleries has been supported by Arts Council England, South West Museums Development, Heritage Lottery Fund and visitors to the museum.

Poole Museum opens Monday to Saturday, 10am - 5pm, and Sunday, 12-5pm.

The free 'Lines of thought' exhibition opens September 3 and runs until November 6.

Visit www.poolemuseum.co.uk for more information.