George Robert Lewis

Louvain

1819

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Reference
T09516

Display caption

The fine pale lines in this drawing were probably produced from a relatively hard pencil. The work is dated 1819, and we know that Lewis was travelling in France at this time, as a draughtsman to Dr. TF Dibdin. It is possible therefore, that he had obtained a hard pencil manufactured by Nicholas Jacques Conté, which contained more clay than graphite. Such pencils were suitable for drawing precise architectural details because they gave a thin hard line and did not wear down as quickly as softer pencils.

Gallery label, August 2004

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