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A Figure Weeping Over a Grave

Artist:
George Richmond (British, Brompton 1809–1896 London)
Date:
1827 or 1829
Medium:
Pen and brown ink
Dimensions:
lunette: 3 1/8 x 5 in. (8 x 12.7 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2009
Accession Number:
2009.449
Not on view
Within a lunette, an heroically muscled young man mourns within a churchyard, near a child’s grave. At right, a palm tree that bends sympathetically over the desolate figure recalls Biblical designs by William Blake, whom Richmond revered. The distant landscape, dotted with tiny buildings, displays a touch perfected during the artist's training as a miniaturist, and resembles brown ink drawings by his friend Samuel Palmer. Around 1826, the two young men had formed "The Ancients," an artistic brotherhood that looked closely at early Italian and Northern prints and found inspiration in the landscape near Shoreham in Kent. Richmond here melds romantic references – a graveyard setting, gothic church façade, and figure confronting mortality – with hints of divine comfort offered by nature.
Inscription: Inscribed on a sheet attached to the backboard: "A Figure weeping over a grave - / Jany 18. 1827[29?] / GR-"
Miss Miriam Hartley (British, 20th century); Sale, Sotheby's, London, March 16, 1978, lot 55 (by the preceding); Thomas Agnew & Sons, Ltd. (London); Private Collection, United States; Sale, Sotheby's, London, December 4, 2008, lot 124; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich
Raymond Lister George Richmond: A Critical Biography. Robin Garton, 1981, fig. no. 16, pp. 28, 143, ill.



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