George John Pinwell

Shadow and Substance, engraved by the Dalziel Brothers

published 1867

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

Artist
George John Pinwell 1842–1875
Medium
Wood engraving on paper
Dimensions
Image: 159 x 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by Gilbert Dalziel 1924
Reference
N04023

Display caption

This is one of eighteen designs Pinwell made for a book of verse called Wayside Posies. The haunting image shows a woman staring at her reflection in a pond. Beside her sit two women whose skirts seem to have been absorbed by the landscape. All three women appear displaced from everyday time and place, their faces downcast.

The anonymous poem Shadow and Substance which accompanies this design is narrated by a suitor who, if his passion is rejected by ‘Nell’, threatens to commit ‘sweet slaughter’ by drowning himself while ‘embracing her shade in the water’ where she fishes.

Gallery label, November 2004

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