William BlakeLower Half of a Woman Playing a Harp. Verso: Seraphim and Other Drawings c.1785, c.?1807

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Artwork details

William Blake (1757‑1827)
Lower Half of a Woman Playing a Harp. Verso: Seraphim and Other Drawings
Date c.1785, c.?1807
MediumGraphite on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 268 x 450 mm
Acquisition Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

A00044 Lower Half of a Woman Playing a Harp c.1785 (recto)
Seraphim and Other Drawings c.1807(?) (verso)

A 00044 / B 77
Pencil 268× 450 (10 9/16×17 3/4): the verso is upright in format
Inscribed on verso by Frederick Tatham ‘William Blake vouched by Frederick Tatham’ b.r.
Presented by Mrs John Richmond 1922
PROVENANCE Mrs Blake; Frederick Tatham; his brother-in-law George Richmond, sold Christie's 29 April 1897 (in 147, with 22 other items, see no.2) £2.10.0 bt Dr Richard Sisley; his daughter, Mrs John Richmond
LITERATURE Butlin 1981, p.29 no.77, pls.68 and 70

The sketch on the recto is the bottom half of a drawing the rest of which is on a sheet in the Rosenbach Museum, Philadelphia (Butlin 1981, no.76 verso, pl.67; in Butlin 1981 the recti and versi of these two drawings are transposed). Although slightly smaller, 11 1/4×16 9/16 in, the Rosenbach sheet shows the upper half of the seated girl playing the harp, which connects, allowing for a small loss in between, with the seated figure with harp, seen from the waist down, on the Tate Gallery sheet. On the left of the Tate Gallery drawing there are two partly erased sketches of hands which seem to be alternative ideas for the girl's right hand plucking the harp strings in the Rosenbach drawing… (read more)

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