Catalogue entry

A00838 A Fettered Nude Figure Reclining by a Rock c.1825

A 00838
Pen and wash 235×343 (9 1/4×13 1/2) Inscribed by George Richmond, ‘Drawn by W. Blake, GR’ b.r.
Presented by Mrs George Richmond 1922
PROVENANCE George Richmond, sold Christie's 29 April 1897 (in 147, with 22 other items, see A00045) £2.10.0 bt Dr. Richard Sisley; his daughter Mrs John Richmond.

Despite the inscription in George Richmond's own hand this drawing is stylistically unlike anything known to be by Blake. The similarity of the figure in this drawing to that in Richmond's tempera painting of 1825, ‘Abel the Shepherd’ in the Tate Gallery (N05858) suggests some confusion in Richmond's mind arising from the fact that, according to Mrs Gilchrist, Blake ‘made a careful correction-drawing of the shepherd's arm in his pupil's [Richmond's] sketchbook’ (H.H. Gilchrist, Anne Gilchrist: Her Life and Writings, 1887, p.261; Bentley Blake Records 1969, pp.293 n.1). A number of Richmond's early drawings bear inscriptions and dates that seem to have been added by him very much later; in some cases alternative dates are given, demonstrating that he was working from memory, and this would seem to have been so, mistakenly, in this case.

This work was formerly inventoried as no.3694 iii.


Published in:
Martin Butlin, William Blake 1757-1827, Tate Gallery Collections, V, London 1990