There is evidence to suggest that this is a portrait of John Linnell, with whom Hunt used to go sketching on the banks of the Thames. Alternatively, it may show a member of the Sol Club in London, where Hunt often sketched. Hunt uses the pencil freely and vigorously in this work, repeatedly going over the lines and changing angles as desired. His sensitive use of the medium is shown in the lightly-pencilled wisps of smoke.
Gallery label, August 2004
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