The Vela Museum's collection of graphical works numbers a thousand or so sheets that are of documentary as well as purely artistic interest. These are mostly autograph drawings by Vincenzo and Spartaco Vela, sketches made at the Academy Brera, but there are also watercolours by Spartaco Vela and prints on paper (engravings and lithographs) by contemporary artists of the Lombard and Piedmontese school. In addition to numerous preparatory studies made by Vincenzo Vela for his monuments (sketches and plans that allow us to study their genesis), there are also freehand drawings relating to his projects that reveal the sculptor's outstanding graphical skills. The pencil and charcoal drawings made by Spartaco, on the other hand, are evidence of his ability and sensitivities as a portraitist. The many academic exercises demonstrate the importance of solid training in the career of the Vela as artists.
Equally interesting, and with examples of extreme quality, is the presence of drawings and watercolours by contemporary artists whose works probably joined the collection either as gifts or as exchanges between colleagues. Finally, the collection of prints includes a varied range of military scenes, coats of arms, portraits and reproductions of pictorial works, much of which represents the gathering of information by Vincenzo and Spartaco Vela as preparation for creating historiated scenes.
Note the cycle of the Apocalypse by Luigi Sabatelli and the Deeds of Napoleon by Andrea Appiani.