John Hamilton Mortimer

An Ecorché Carrying a Shield

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
John Hamilton Mortimer 1740–1779
Graphite and ink on paper
Support: 320 × 227 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

An 'ecorché' is plaster model of a human body with the skin removed, leaving the muscles displayed; such models allowed a close study of anatomy. Mortimer has used a very fine pen to depict the ecorché, working over the initial pencil underdrawing using light pen pressure. The ink has been applied in a dry scratchy manner with the pen not heavily loaded with ink. He has worked in short pen strokes describing the muscle formation with an economic use of line.

Gallery label, August 2004

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