John Hamilton Mortimer

Monstrous Male Figure, Caliban?

1770s

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

Medium
Graphite and crayon on paper
Dimensions
Support: 175 x 112 mm
support, secondary: 240 x 165 mm
frame: 481 x 411 x 22 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
Reference
T09101

Display caption

Mortimer made a number of drawings
of monsters in the 1770s. His other drawings show monsters engaged
in violent struggles. This delicate image
in chalk and pencil is more in the nature
of a character study.

 

During the mid-1770s Mortimer etched twelve of his own drawings as characters from Shakespeare, including Caliban
from The Tempest. Since this creature
also bears a resemblance to Caliban
it may have been a study for the character. This is quite possible since the drawing
is unfinished.

 

Gallery label, September 2004