Drawing of a dancing girl: study for 'The Borgia Family', a watercolour at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle thumbnail 1
Drawing of a dancing girl: study for 'The Borgia Family', a watercolour at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Case PD, Shelf 148

Drawing of a dancing girl: study for 'The Borgia Family', a watercolour at Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

Drawing
ca.1850 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This study of a young girl dancing is an early drawing in Rossetti's oeuvre, made around two years after the foundation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848). It is a preparatory study for one of the figures in Rossetti's watercolour The Borgia Family (Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle), of which the V&A has a later version. The composition was originally planned as an illustration of the lines from Shakespeare's Richard III: ‘To caper nimbly in a lady's chamber / to the lascivious pleasing of a lute’, but, for the watercolour, Rossetti adapted the subject.

This drawing exemplifies the crisp, incisive line which Rossetti particularly valued at this time, and which he associated with artists such as Dürer.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Graphite and black chalk
Brief Description
Graphite and black chalk drawing of a young girl dancing, study connected to The Borgia Family, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, London, c.1850. On the verso is a nude study in graphite of a seated young woman.
Physical Description
Drawing.
Dimensions
  • Height: 48.6cm
  • Width: 26.4cm
Marks and Inscriptions
Inscription in pencil, lower right corner, in the handwriting of George Price Boyce: 'Given by D. G. R. to G. P. B. / March 1st 1856' There is a faded inscription, lower left, by Boyce of which only the word 'Borgia' is decipherable.
Credit line
Presented by Virginia Surtees
Object history
Provenance: The drawing was presented by Rossetti to his friend, the artist George Price Boyce, on March 1st 1856; it was included in Boyce's sale at Christie's, 1st July 1897 (part of lot 20). It belonged subsequently to the art historian Sir Charles Holmes. Sir Sydney Cockerell, Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, bought it from Holmes on January 1st 1898. On August 31st 1959 Cockerell gave the drawing to Virginia Surtees (née Clarke), author of the catalogue raisonné of Rossetti's work. Virginia Surtees presented the drawing to the V&A in 2012.



Exhibited: Burlington Fine Arts Club, Works by the Old Masters, and by deceased masters of the British school, including J. Linnell and D. G. Rossetti, 1883, no. 109; New Gallery, Pictures Ancient and Modern by Artists of the British and Continental Schools including a special selection from the works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1897, no. 71; Manchester City Art Gallery, Loan Exhibition of Works by Ford Madox Brown and the Pre-Raphaelites, 1911, no. 134; Tate Gallery, Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings of the 1860 Period, 1923, no. 326; The Mass Gallery, Pre-Raphaelites and their contemporaries, 1962, no. 77; Royal Academy, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: Painter and Poet, 1973, no. 124

Summary
This study of a young girl dancing is an early drawing in Rossetti's oeuvre, made around two years after the foundation of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (1848). It is a preparatory study for one of the figures in Rossetti's watercolour The Borgia Family (Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle), of which the V&A has a later version. The composition was originally planned as an illustration of the lines from Shakespeare's Richard III: ‘To caper nimbly in a lady's chamber / to the lascivious pleasing of a lute’, but, for the watercolour, Rossetti adapted the subject.



This drawing exemplifies the crisp, incisive line which Rossetti particularly valued at this time, and which he associated with artists such as Dürer.
Associated Object
Bibliographic Reference
Virginia Surtees, The Paintings and Drawings of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882): a catalogue raisonné (Oxford, 1971), no. 48A. The entry reads as follows: 'Preliminary study for the little dancing girl. Whole-length, turned slightly to the left holding out her dress as she dances; one foot is showing. The head, turned to the front with the eyes looking to the right, is carefully worked; the long straight hair and the body are lightly sketches. The model was Miss Mead. (Boyce Diaries, p.36, 24 Feb 1860) On the back is a pencil sketch of a naked female figure, seated fronting the spectator with her head turned to the left and both hands raised to her mouth. There is no indication of the subject other than a faded inscription by G. P. Boyce, lower left, of which only the word "Borgia" is decipherable.'
Collection
Accession Number
E.1159-2012

About this object record

Explore the Collections contains over a million catalogue records, and over half a million images. It is a working database that includes information compiled over the life of the museum. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. We are committed to addressing these issues, and to review and update our records accordingly.

You can write to us to suggest improvements to the record.

Suggest Feedback

record createdSeptember 28, 2012
Record URL