A group of five heads with other studies

Theodor Richard Edward von Holst British

Not on view

The drawing represents a row of five heads that include young men, a woman, and two older bearded men wearing hats. Below are studies of a hand, and twisting figures. The imagery has not been connected to a particular source, but romantic literary and fantastic subjects predominate in Von Holst’s oeuvre, often insprired by Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, Victor Hugo, and Goethe.
Von Holst’s precocious talent was recognized by Thomas Lawrence, who bought a drawing from the youth when the latter was ten years old. After taking lessons from Henry Fuseli, Von Holst entered the Royal Academy Schools at the age of fourteen in 1824. Fuseli remained a strong influence stylistically and the works of the two artists have often been confused. In 1959, an album assembled by John Welch Etherington Rolls (1807-1870) appeared at auction containing drawings by both artists, and subsequent research allowed a core group to be securely ascribed to Von Holst, the present sheet among them.

A group of five heads with other studies, Theodor Richard Edward von Holst (British, London 1810–1844 London), Graphite

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