Display caption

This portrait is an example of the more romantic image of the artist that emerged in the later eighteenth century. Sensibility stressed an emotional sensitivity to nature; in tune with these ideas the landscape painter Paul Sandby is shown in a relaxed attitude, sketching a view beyond the open window.

His emotional involvement with the scene he is drawing is emphasised by his gaze and the fact that he is almost leaning out of the window. A more traditional artist’s portrait would show the painter self-consciously presenting himself to the viewer.

September 2004