John Varley

Sketch for ‘Treatise on Zodiacal Physiognomy’

1828

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
John Varley 1778–1842
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
None
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1997
Reference
T07258

Display caption

This is one of Varley’s designs for the Zodiacal Physiognomy (the relevant page is reproduced in a bound leaflet in this room). Varley included in the treatise a sketch after Blake’s Head of the Ghost of a Flea (hanging nearby) and two other profiles, which are labelled in the book as Gemini and Cancer. It seems that Varley may have used a living model at some stage, as the younger figure shown here appears to be named ‘Hannah’.

Gallery label, March 2011

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