Harold Gilman

Study for ‘Leeds Market’


Not on display

Harold Gilman 1876–1919
Ink and graphite on paper
Support: 250 × 297 mm
Purchased 1957

Catalogue entry


The composition of this drawing is mostly the same as that of the finished oil (Tate N04373, fig.1). The squaring-up suggests that Harold Gilman worked from it directly, but there are certain differences, including the arrangement of the figures in the foreground, and the absence in the drawing of the pair of figures on the extreme right of the painting. The study is a little less than half the size of the painting and bears a numbered grid in red ink over it for transfer. Like the Study for ‘Canal Bridge, Flekkefjord’ (Tate T00026), it bears numerous colour notes. It is interesting to compare it with Muirhead Bone’s Study for ‘The Great Gantry, Charing Cross Station’ 1906 (Tate N02300, fig.2).

The first owner of this drawing was Sir Louis Fergusson (1878–1962), who recalled in a letter to the Tate Gallery dated 1 June 1957:
My diary reminds me that on 10th March 1916 Gilman and I dined at the Sceptre in Warwick Street and then repaired to his lodgings in 47 Maple Street ‘for a very long chatter about art’. I already had a couple of his paintings and on this occasion persuaded him to let me have some drawings. He showed me scores of them and was most anxious for me to choose ones which he himself thought good. He distinctly told me that he had never yet drawn for exhibition or exhibited his drawings.1
Fergusson was a committed patron of the Camden Town Group, who also owned Spencer Gore’s Inez and Taki (see Tate N05859 for an account of Fergusson’s career). With Wyndham Lewis, Fergusson wrote Harold Gilman: An Appreciation, which appeared after Gilman’s death in 1919. ‘Gore introduced me to Gilman at 19 Fitzroy Street in December 1908’, Fergusson recalled, ‘on one of those delightful Saturday afternoons when you were free to feast your eyes on relay after relay of what were mostly little pictures for little patrons.’2

Robert Upstone
May 2009


Louis Fergusson, letter to Tate Gallery, 1 June 1957, Tate Catalogue file.
Wyndham Lewis and Louis F. Fergusson, Harold Gilman: An Appreciation, London 1919, p.19.

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