Pen and brown ink
Support: Wove paper lined with antique laid paper
Sheet: 22.6 x 18.4 cm (8 7/8 x 7 1/4 in.); Secondary Support: 28.1 x 24 cm (11 1/16 x 9 7/16 in.)
Gift in memory of Helen Borowitz 2013.241
This instantly recognizable model was the subject of at least one other drawing, titled Head of an Old Man, in the collection of Tate Britain today.
For William Mulready, drawing was a lifelong preoccupation. This sheet was drawn from a model in the Royal Academy’s life school when the artist was 73. He was one of the Academy’s most devoted teachers, positioning the model for his students and then drawing alongside them. Closely observed and meticulously crafted, the work attests to Mulready’s consummate skill as a draftsman, and the weather-beaten face of the male model is as arresting today as it was in Victorian London.
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