John Hamilton Mortimer

Monstrous Male Figure, Caliban?

1770s

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

Artist
John Hamilton Mortimer 1740–1779
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

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