• Cupid and Psyche -
    Price on request

    Pen and brown ink and washes on laid paper

    37.7 by 27.7 cm., 14 3/4 by 10 3/4  inches

     

    Provenance:

    L. J. Florens Wijsenbeek, The Hague;

    Private Collection, London                

     

    This is a preliminary study for an oil painting in a UK private collection (see Alex Kidson, George Romney, 2002, no. 45, pp. 102-3). Romney appears to have started work on the painting shortly after his return from Italy in the summer of 1775, doubtless inspired by what he had seen abroad. He then abandoned work on it before finishing it in early 1798. The existence of this drawing and another drawing of the subject (Kidson, op. cit., p. 103, illustrated as fig. 33) suggest that the reason for the delay is that Romney had problems resolving the positioning of the couple’s interwined legs. The two drawings show the couple in reverse with Cupid looking into a mirror whereas the finished oil shows the wedding of the reunited couple.

  • Four Studies of a Woman -
    Price on request

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper

    With further pen and ink studies verso

    11.1 by 18.3 cm., 4 1/4 by 7 inches

     

    Provenance:

    Alfred de Pass Collection;

    With William Drummond, London;

    Stephen Unwin Collection

     

    It has been suggested that these are studies for Miranda in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Romney was working on ideas for illustrating The Tempest in 1786-7 when he was commissioned by John and Josiah Boydell to produce Shakespeare subjects for their Shakespeare Gallery which opened in 1789.

  • Study of a Woman in profile -
    Price on request

    Pencil on laid paper

    Sheet 19 by 12 cm., 7 ½ by 4 ¾ inches

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, London until 2014              

     

    This drawing originates from an album of sketches by Romney dated to May 1777. Portraits he was working on at the time include `The Dancing Gower Children’ and ‘Catherine Vernon as Hebe’. Other intact sketchbooks from this period are in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Fizwilliam Museum, Cambridge. A sketchbook from late 1777/early 1778 is in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool (see Alex Kidson, George Romney, exhibition catalogue, 2002, p.140-1, no.77).

  • John Howard visiting the Lazaretto -
    Price on request

    Pencil on laid paper watermarked with Britannia

    15.7 by 19.1 cm., 6 by 7 ½ in.

     

    John Howard (1726-1790) was a prison reformer who worked for the improvement of condition in British jails. He visited prisons all over the country and in 1778 he appeared before a House of Commons committee to put forward his thoughts on how to improve them. Howard never sat for a portrait but Romney’s drawings of his prison visits are one of his principal projects of the early 1790s. Romney here focuses on the cowering prisoners to the right of the image with their gaolers sketched in to the left.

     

    Similarly intense pencil drawings of the subject are in a sketchbook in the Huntington Library, San Marino which dates from October 1792.  The album is numbered 3 which suggests that two other sketchbooks date from this month alone. Drawings in the sketchbook have similar numberings apparently in the same hand as in the present drawing.

     

  • Study of a Gentleman -
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    pencil on laid paper

    10.4 by 10.4cm., 4 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches

     

    This is a quick sketch by Romney, presumably a preliminary idea for a portrait

  • The Descent from the Cross -
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    Pencil on buff paper

    16.4 x 19.6 cm., 6 ? x 7 ? in.

     

    This belongs to a group of drawings of this subject by Romney datable stylistically to circa 1792-3. Others from the group are in the Fitzwilliam Museum (M.D. 38a), the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (see George Romney in Canada, exhibition catalogue, 1986, no. 38, ill.), in an album in the Chicago Art Institute and recorded in the collection of Mr and Mrs J.D. Dilworth Jr (see Patricia Milne-Henderson, The Drawings of George Romney, 1962, pl. XXXIII).

  • John Howard visiting the Lazaretto -
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    Numbered 86 in a later hand upper left, pencil on laid paper watermarked GR

    15.7 by 19.1 cm., 6 by 7 ½ inches

     

    John Howard (1726-1790) was a prison reformer who worked for the improvement of condition in British jails. He visited prisons all over the country and in 1778 he appeared before a House of Commons committee to put forward his thoughts on how to improve them. Howard never sat for a portrait but Romney’s drawings of his prison visits are one of his principal projects of the early 1790s. Romney here focuses on the cowering prisoners to the right of the image with their gaolers sketched in to the left.

     

    Similarly intense pencil drawings of the subject are in a sketchbook in the Huntington Library, San Marino which dates from October 1792.  The album is numbered 3 which suggests that two other sketchbooks date from this month alone. Drawings in the sketchbook have similar numberings apparently in the same hand as in the present drawing.
  • Study for `Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’ -
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    Numbered 65 in pencil upper right, with a pencil landscape study verso

    Pen and brown ink on laid paper

    Sheet 18.7 by 11.3 cm., 7 ¼  by 4 ¼ inches

     

    Provenance:

    By descent to Miss Elizabeth Romney;

    Christie’s sale, 24-25 May 1894, unknown lot as part of an album;

    Alfred de Pass (1861-1952);

    By whom given to the Royal Institute of Cornwall, Truro in 1928;

    Their sale, Christie’s, 22nd February 1966, lot 25, part of a sketchbook, p.51;

    Private Collection, London until 2014          

     

    This drawing originates from one of the so-called Truro sketchbook which dates from June 1784 and it is a study for an oil `Lady Hamilton as a Bacchante’,  painted in 1784 and sent to Sir William Hamilton in Naples. Hamilton’s nephew Charles Greville wrote to him in October 1784: `Let me know how the Bacchante is to be paid. I will have it packed when an opportunity arises. The dog was ugly and I made him paint it again.’ It was finally paid for in September 1788. The portrait is said to have lost at sea on its return to England but Greville presumably had a replica painted which was included in his Executor’s sale on 31st March 1810 and later recorded in the collection of Tankerville Chamberlayne.

     

    In the finished painting, Lady Hamilton’s arms are behind her back but the pose is otherwise the same.

  • Study of a Nude Woman -
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  • Study of a Woman and Children -
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    Pencil on laid paper

    With a landscape study verso

    Sheet 19 by 12 cm., 7 ½ by 4 ¾ in.

     

    Provenance:

    Private Collection, London until 2014
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