Thomas Sully (American, Horncastle, Lincolnshire 1783–1872 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Pen and brown ink washes (bistre?) on off-white laid paper
11 1/2 x 8 13/16 in. (29.2 x 22.4 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1953
Not on view
Sully used his sketchbook as a site of inspiration and study, a place where he might jot down a few figures or work out a composition. The book contains drawings after works by David, possibly Michelangelo, Reynolds, Rembrandt, Van Dyck, and other European masters, for the most part taken from prints. Sully was not slavish in using his sources; he took incentive from other artists and obviously felt free to rearrange compositional elements. For example, this drawing of a woman standing at a window is a variation on Rembrandt's 1647 etching of Jan Six. Rembrandt's setting is preserved almost completely, but the Dutch statesman absorbed in reading a journal has been replaced with the neoclassical figure of a woman who, instead of reading the journal in her hands, stares pensively out the window.
Inscription: At upper left in graphite: 3; at lower right in ink, partially obscured by wash: daco Stolen [?]