Thomas Stothard made many illustrations and other images involving figures. However, this sensitive watercolour shows that he was also concerned to sketch from life. Stothard’s first biographer called him ‘an indefatigable student from nature’. He even went on walks with the young John Constable, during which both men sketched, and Stothard caught butterflies for his collection. Constable is said to have remarked that these walks were Stothard’s ‘chief relaxation… from the drudgery of working for the publishers’.
By contrast, Blake almost never drew from nature, and was rarely interested in producing landscapes or still-lives.
Gallery label, August 2004