Collection online

sketch-book / drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1896,0511.30.1-43

  • Description

    Sketchbook bound in card with blind tooling, containing 43 leaves with sketches, mainly figure studies and compositions, drawn on the recto, verso or both; the sketchbook used from either end; also one blank leaf and marbled endpapers; subjects include Christ and the Woman taken in Adultery (?), Macbeth and the Witches (several compositions), Callisto and the nymphs of Diana, mother and child (several studies), heads (including the head of King Lear), and a study for 'Hope appearing to Misery '(?) Most sketches in pen and brown ink; also graphite; pen and black ink

    All pages in this album measure: H: 165.00mm x W:199.00mm

    1896,0511.30.1
    Recto: Christ and the woman taken in adultery (?); Rough sketch, brown ink.
    Verso: Man with spear; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.2
    Recto: Macbeth and the witches, Macbeth and witch on left, two other witches on right, in a stormy setting (?), first scene of act 1; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.3
    Recto: Macbeth and the witches, rough sketch, figures on left and right, Macbeth (?) in centre, in a stormy setting; pen and brown ink.

    Page torn out

    1896,0511.30.4
    Recto: Macbeth and the witches, Macbeth on right in side profile wearing hat, right arm pointing towards witches, witches on left drawn in less detail; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Study of Macbeth’s figure; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.5
    Recto: Slight study for portrait group of two ladies, third figure in bottom right corner; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Slight study for the witches; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.6
    Recto: Witches, very slight study, possibly two figures embraced (?); pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Macbeth and the witches, possibly Act IV, Scene 1, Macbeth arrives demanding to know what is in store for him, witches on left surrounding cauldron (?), figure on right of Macbeth (?) with arms stretched out towards the witches; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.7
    Recto: Macbeth and the witches, possibly same scene as verso of f.6, taken from opposite direction; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Same subject; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.8
    Recto: Study for Macbeth, whole length with head facing right, right arm stretched out, spear (?) in left hand, wearing hat; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.9
    Recto: Macbeth and the witches, similar sketch to f.2, in stormy setting, Macbeth in centre with arms outstretched; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Same subject, possibly different scene, Act IV, scene 1, Macbeth with witches around cauldron, figure on left with arms raised above head, figure on right holding a spear(?); pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.10
    Recto: Same subject, Macbeth and the witches, cauldron in centre, figure on left with arms raised above head, figure on right (Macbeth?) holding spear in left hand; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.11
    Recto: Same subject, Macbeth and the witches, cauldron in centre, figure on left with arms raised above head, figure on right (Macbeth?) holding spear in left hand, sketched in more detail with hatching; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.12
    Verso: Three studies, two draped figures and a face; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.13
    Recto: Study for the portrait of a lady seated, half-length in side profile; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.14
    Recto: Study for a picture; two figures on left in front of crowd of figures standing and kneeling with children; pen and brown ink and graphite.

    Page torn out.

    1896,0511.30.16
    Recto: Head of an old man, tilted facing right; pen and brown ink and graphite.

    1896,0511.30.17
    Recto: Man reading under tree, seated in side profile; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.18
    Verso: Standing figure with chin resting on left hand, spear/stick in right hand; graphite.

    1896,0511.30.19
    Recto: Nymph bathing, rough sketch of trees in background; graphite.

    1896,0511.30.20
    Recto: Callisto and the nymphs of Diana, detailed sketch, figures seated and standing in forest setting; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.21
    Verso: Mother and child seated under tree; pencil.

    1896,0511.30.22
    Recto: Same subject, slight sketch; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Same subject taken from a different angle, slight sketch; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.23
    Recto: Seated woman asleep, whole length seated with head resting in right hand and leaning against table(?); pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Mother and child seated, similar sketch to fig. 21, 22 and 23; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.24
    Recto: Study for a portrait of a girl, half-length in side profile, head looking over right shoulder facing front; pencil, pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Two studies of a man’s head, in side profile and facing front; graphite, pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.25
    Verso: Head of a woman and mother and child, both in side profile; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.26
    Verso: Head of a woman, looking down wearing head scarf; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.27
    Verso: Head of child, laughing; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.29
    Recto: Woman’s head in profile with head scarf; graphite.
    Verso: Head of a youth with fillet round the hair; pen and brown ink.

    Three pages torn.

    1896,0511.30.30
    Recto: study of a female head in side profile, lower part of page torn; brown ink.
    Verso: Slight studies of heads, lower part of page torn; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.31
    Recto: Slight studies of heads; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: An old man’s head; and the head of one of the witches in Macbeth in bottom right; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.32
    Verso: Head of a man in cap, study of head above; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.33
    Verso: Head of King Lear, shoulders and head, in side profile with wind blowing hair over face; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.34
    Verso: Two studies of faces frowning, facing opposite directions; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.35
    Verso: Man’s face smiling; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.36
    Verso: Head of man wearing cap, head and shoulders in side profile; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.37
    Verso: Head of man in a cap, facing front; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.38
    Verso: Two studies of faces; top study in side profile, other head tilted facing upwards; both in pen and brown ink.

    Two pages torn out.

    1896,0511.30.39
    Recto: Three slight studies of figures, all in whole length; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Two studies of an old woman’s head, with and without hat; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.40
    Verso: Head of a bald man; pen and brown ink.

    Three pages torn

    1896,0511.30.41
    Recto: Hope appearing to misery; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.42
    Verso: Three male heads, facing various directions; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.43
    Verso: Three studies of an old woman’s head, facing various directions; pen and brown ink.

    1896,0511.30.28
    Recto: Man leaning on a stick, whole length in side profile; pen and brown ink.
    Verso: Slight sketch of standing figure, whole length in side profile; pen and brown ink.

    More 

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1749-1802
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 206 millimetres
    • Width: 172 millimetres (covers)
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Inscribed on the verso of the front free endpaper: "J[...] Ba[r]ning 708/London" and on the verso of the back free endpaper: "To Mr [K]nott, at Mr Braithwaite's,/No:4, Lawrence Pount[n]ey Lane/Cannon Street.", and in another hand: "Dinah."
  • Curator's comments

    One leaf is partially torn, and several leaves have been torn out. The leaf with registration number 1896-5-11-30(28) is at the end of the sketchbook.

    This album contains several drawings related to Macbeth, King Lear and Falstaff. Romney demonstrated great interest in the works of William Shakespeare throughout his career and was one of the many artists involved in Boydwell’s proposal for a Shakespeare gallery. There are many sketches in this album depicting scenes from Macbeth, the most frequent being from Act IV, scene 1, when Lord Macbeth intrudes upon the witches’ incantation. Romney depicts this scene by sketching Macbeth approaching witches surrounding a cauldron, one with her arms raised in the air and seemingly in the midst of an incantation.

    This album is not dated, however it is possible that it was used in the early 1790's when Romney was producing works for Boydwell's Shakespeare Gallery. Alex Kidson comments that when considering subjects for the Shakespeare Gallery, Romney was particularly interested in The Tempest and Macbeth. Two scenes from Macbeth of particular interest were that in which Macbeth is haunted by a ghost of the murdered Banquo and Macbeth's arrival at the witches cavern demanding to know what the future holds. A drawing now held in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, depicts this scene in greater detail . See A.Kidson, ‘George Romney: 1734-1802’, (London: National Portrait Gallery), 2002, pp.216-217, cat no.135. Several sketches representing scenes from Macbeth were were sold at the Christie’s sales of 1890, 1896 and 1897.

    Fig. 32, a sketch of King Lear and bears close resemblance to a drawing in the Yale Centre for British Art collection. See A.Kidson, ‘George Romney: 1734-1802’, (London: National Portrait Gallery), 2002, p.52, cat no.8. Kidson suggests that the drawing in the Yale collection is an early work by Romney based on its ‘immature stylistic features’ such as cross hatching and even delineation. The sketch in this album shares similar features however if we are to assume that this sketchbook dates from the late 1780’s/early 1790’s when Romney was preparing works for the Shakespeare Gallery, then this cannot be. The challenge in dating such works lies in the fact that Lear was a subject that Romney frequently returned to throughout his career. Therefore no definitive date can be given to this drawing at this moment in time.

    Further reference to Shakespeare can be noted from f.34. Described by Binyon as ‘Man’s face smiling’, this drawing is arguably a sketch of Falstaff from the Merry Wives of Windsor. There is noticeable similarities between this drawing and that in the Fitzwilliam Museum collection, (see P. Jaffe ‘Drawings by George Romney’, (Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum), 1977, p. 27, cat no.43. It is thought that John Henderson the actor, sat for Romney for the drawings in the Fitzwilliam collection and therefore possibly for that in this album as well.

    More 

  • Bibliography

    • Binyon 1898-1907 7 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (102a*.57)

  • Exhibition history

    2014 -15 Sept.-Jan: London BM Witches and Wicked Bodies

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated titles

    • Associated Title: Macbeth
  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1896

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1896,0511.30.1-43


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