Frederic, Lord Leighton
Fanny Kemble: A Study for ‘Jezebel and Ahab’ c.1862

Artwork details

Fanny Kemble: A Study for ‘Jezebel and Ahab’
Date c.1862
Medium Chalk on paper
Dimensions Support: 225 x 285 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Leighton was the most eminent of all artists working during Queen Victoria's reign. He trained in Germany and Paris. One result of this training was the importance he attached to making preliminary drawings for any composition he painted in oils. This drawing is a study for the head of Elijah in Leighton's 1863 Royal Academy exhibit 'Jezebel and Ahab' which is now in Scarborough Art Gallery. The model was Leighton's friend the actress Fanny Kemble. The use of a woman to pose for a male figure seems unusual, but the drawing would have been used by Leighton to set a male model when he stood for the figure of 'Elijah' for the painting.

September 2004