Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland

A Girl Seated, in a Flowered Dress

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland 1735–1811
Chalk on paper
Support: 303 × 220 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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The combination of red and black chalk was particularly popular for portrait drawings in the eighteenth century. Dance-Holland has followed the tradition of using black chalk for the majority of the sitter and reserving the red chalk for details such as the lips and cheeks. This provides definition as well as additional depth and warmth to the drawing. He has kept the points of the chalks quite sharp, allowing him to build up fine details. Subtle modelling has been created by drawing parallel lines of different widths and varying distances apart.

Gallery label, August 2004

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