pseudo Thomas Gainsborough

Landscape with Castle and Carriage

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Pseudo Thomas Gainsborough 1727–1788
Soot and candlegrease on paper
Support: 184 × 240 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

For centuries 'oiled charcoal' was prized for its ready adhesion to paper fibres, whereas ordinary charcoal particles tend to sit on the surface, remaining powdery and vulnerable to smudging. Oiled charcoal is produced by soaking pieces of vine charcoal in linseed oil. The oil is absorbed into the paper when the charcoal is used. The paper fibres around the charcoal lines darken leaving a slight discoloured halo. Over time the oil migrates, darkening the paper and making the haloes more pronounced. Eventually the areas of paper covered with the charcoal exhibit an overall brown tone, apparent in this drawing.

Gallery label, August 2004

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.


You might like

In the shop