James Duffield Harding

Old Kiln, Hewetts Brickyard, Leamington

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 220 x 275 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

Harding was an enthusiastic teacher of pencil drawing, and wrote a manual describing the many ways in which graphite could be used. He valued the greater freedom which graphite allowed, since its marks could be easily erased, whereas ink marks were permanent. This sketch demonstrates Harding's mastery of the pencil as he changes swiftly from shade to outline, thin to thick strokes, and dark to light tones. The horizontal 'laid' lines in the paper, which are formed during the papermaking process, help to create a sense of the brick work of the kiln, an effect that Harding may have used deliberately.

Gallery label, August 2004