British School 19th century

Nude Male Figure Seen from the Rear

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
British School 19th century 1800–1899
Graphite on paper
Support: 328 × 237 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This drawing is quite dirty and discoloured; the artist's use of a fixative, and the constant handling the drawing subsequently received, have led to its poor condition. When this fixative was tested with water it became sticky, suggesting some form of glue was used, possibly a starch paste adhesive. Field's instruction manual, Chromatography 1835, recommends fixing graphite

with water-starch prepared in the manner of the laundress of such strength as to form a jelly when cold; which may be applied with a broad camel's hair brush. This may also be done with a thin, cold isinglass size or rice water.

Gallery label, August 2004

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