Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case MB2A, Shelf DR111

Study for the head of Morgan le Fay

Drawing
ca.1862
Artist/Maker

This remarkably sensitive drawing by Frederick Sandys is a preparatory study for 'Morgan-le-Fay', an oil painting of 1862-3 now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. A similar drawing in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, titled ‘Study of a Young Mulatto Girl, full face’, references a now-outdated term referring to a person of mixed black and white descent. The model in both drawings is thought to be the Jamaican-born Fanny Eaton, a young mixed-race model known for her unruly black hair, to which Sandys was particularly drawn. Eaton also sat to Rossetti, Millais, Albert Moore and Simeon Solomon.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Pencil drawing on paper with touches of red chalk
Brief Description
Study for the head of Morgan le Fay, Frederick Sandys (1829-1904), c.1862; chalk drawing on toned paper, signed with monogram AFS.
Physical Description
Head and shoulders portrait of a woman with unruly dark hair, body and head turned to the viewer's right, the face tilted slightly up and to the viewer's left
Dimensions
  • Height: 9.25in
  • Sheet height: 282mm
  • Sheet width: 216mm
  • Image height: 242mm
  • Image width: 202mm
Measurement from: Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1909, London: Printed For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1910: Height: 9.25 inches x Width: 6.75 inches (measurements taken in 1909).
Style
Historical context
In her catalogue raisonné of Frederick Sandys (1999), Betty Elzea identifies the sitter in this drawing as Fanny Eaton (1835-1924), a young Jamaican-born mixed-race model known for her unruly black hair, who also sat for Rossetti, Millais, Albert Moore and Simeon Solomon. She appears in a related head study in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, titled 'Study of the head of a young mulatto woman, full face' (Accession no. 6362).
Subject depicted
Summary
This remarkably sensitive drawing by Frederick Sandys is a preparatory study for 'Morgan-le-Fay', an oil painting of 1862-3 now in Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. A similar drawing in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, titled ‘Study of a Young Mulatto Girl, full face’, references a now-outdated term referring to a person of mixed black and white descent. The model in both drawings is thought to be the Jamaican-born Fanny Eaton, a young mixed-race model known for her unruly black hair, to which Sandys was particularly drawn. Eaton also sat to Rossetti, Millais, Albert Moore and Simeon Solomon.
Bibliographic References
  • Betty Elzea, Frederick Sandys 1829-1904, A Catalogue Raisonné, Suffolk, 1999.
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design, Accessions 1909, London: Printed For His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1910
Collection
Accession Number
E.4141-1909

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 createdJune 30, 2009
Record URL