Thomas Worlidge

Two Heads of Men, One a Caricature

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Thomas Worlidge 1700–1766
Graphite on paper
Support: 117 × 197 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Display caption

In this drawing Worlidge has made
a deliberate contrast between
the caricatured head to the right,
and the head to the left, which may
be a self-portrait.


During the 1750s and 1760s Worlidge
made many character studies of heads, inspired by the old masters, notably Rembrandt. He was probably also influenced by the general interest
at the time in the study of physiognomy: the art of discovering temperament
and character from outward physical appearance and expression. The drawing, made with Worlidge's characteristic diagonal pencil strokes, is initialled
'TW' with a flourish at the bottom right.

Gallery label, September 2004

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