In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Elizabeth Rigby (Lady Eastlake) 1809–1893
Graphite on paper
Support: 283 × 241 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

This work demonstrates the use of pencil for a finished portrait. Rigby has paid particular attention to the face and hair: the contrast between the darker rounded strokes for the ringlets and the lighter strokes for the face and bonnet throws the curls into relief. It is possible that a softer pencil was used for the curls. Despite Rigby's obvious talent for drawing, she chose to make a career out of journalism. A biography records that 'Literature was to be her vocation and career, but drawing her delight'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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