N04918 SKETCH FOR DONNA CLARA IN ‘THE DUENNA’ 1924
Inscr. ‘G.S.’ b.r. and ‘Donna Clara (Duenna) G.S.’ below, under mount.
Pencil and wash on tracing paper, 14 1/4×9 3/4 (36·25×25).
Presented by Mrs George Sheringham 1938.
Nigel Playfair's production of The Duenna by Richard Brinsley Sheridan was first performed at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on 23 October 1924. The artist's widow wrote (26 February 1938) that N04918 was not intended as a costume design, which would in any case have been in colour, but rather as a ‘characterization sketch’. ‘He used to make rough characterization sketches first, and discuss them with Nigel Playfair often before the latter cast the part or he had worked out the costume.’ A scale model of the set also painted by George Sheringham, with the figure of Donna Clara centre stage, is now in the Department of Theatre Art at the V. & A. (E.491–1926). Donna Clara is dressed in green, yellow and white, the details of her costume being substantially the same as those in N04918. Miss Isabel MacCowen took the part, and another design for Donna Clara is now in the Circulation Department of the V. & A. (E.1055–1935).
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II