Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland

A Fashionable Lady

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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland 1735–1811
Ink on paper
Support: 149 × 73 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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Dance-Holland has used a quill pen and iron-gall ink to define these puzzling caricatures. Iron-gall ink was originally developed for writing, and the fluid smooth lines it creates are evident in the inscriptions below the works as well as in the drawings themselves. In the drawing on the right, Dance-Holland has worked so quickly that ink has splattered from the pen. In the second drawing, he has applied a nearly dry ink with a brush to model the underside of the fish.

Gallery label, August 2004

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