Henry William Bunbury

The Minuet. Verso: Two heads, and Three Other Heads, Vertically


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Henry William Bunbury 1750–1811
Graphite on paper. Verso: graphite on paper
Support: 190 × 310 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This drawing was evidently made by Bunbury while sitting in a chop house, or restaurant. The subject relates closely to his celebrated series of prints, A Long Minuet as Danced at Bath, published in 1787. Bunbury was the son of a baronet, and one of the most successful amateur caricaturists of the age. The noted connoisseur, Horace Walpole, called him a 'second Hogarth'. A talented, witty and sociable gentleman, Bunbury was welcome in the very part of society which provided the most fertile ground for his humour: the houses of the rich.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Technique and condition

A double-sided, graphite pencil drawing on a medium-weight, white laid paper. The work is in good condition with general surface dirt and discolouration. The support has been inlaid very tightly onto a one-ply board, which has then been attached onto a secondary mount.

On acquisition the drawing was removed from its secondary mount and inlay, cleaned to reduce surface dirt, then pressed and inlaid. It was mounted onto white museum board.

Lisa Psarianos
February 1998

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