Portrait of a Man, Seated in Front of a Writing Desk

Henry Edridge British
Probably Henry Duncombe British

Not on view

In the 1790s Edridge was a proponent of a new type of small-scale full-length portrait drawn in graphite and finished using ink and watercolor washes. This striking example depicts a country gentleman at work in his study; the artist emphasized his bookcase by adding a strip of paper at the top. A small vase near the sitter’s shoulder suggests his love of the outdoors, a rough caricature on the wall introduces a note of humor, and a collapsed hanging scale at upper left hints at the practicalities of running a country estate. An old inscription on the verso of the sheet identifies the sitter as Henry Duncombe (1728–1818), a Yorkshire gentleman who entered Parliament in 1780, voted with the Opposition, and supported the reform efforts of William Pitt the younger

Portrait of a Man, Seated in Front of a Writing Desk, Henry Edridge (British, Paddington, Middlesex 1769–1821 London), Watercolor over graphite with touches of gouache (bodycolor)

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