John Varley
The Ouse Bridge, York date not known

Artwork details

John Varley 1778–1842
The Ouse Bridge, York
Date Date not known
Medium Chalk, charcoal and gouache on paper
Dimensions Support: 270 x 340 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

In this night scene, Varley used black chalk to outline the image. Forms were then filled in with a softer black chalk that has been smudged with a finger or stump. Varley seems to have reworked some of these areas further by going over them with a wet brush to disperse the pigment particles. The drawing has been subtly heightened with what initially appeared to be white chalk. However, closer inspection revealed that it is a white gouache that has been applied virtually dry. Ultraviolet examination revealed that Varley, like Lewis, was using the newly discovered zinc white.

August 2004

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