Saturday, February 6, 2010
Frederick Sandys - Study for Antigone
signed and inscribed c.l.: Study for/ Antigone/ F. Sandys.
black, white and red chalks
20 1/2 by 16 1/2 in.
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 5,400 GBP
Sandys wrote of the present drawing and its pendant Faustine (Sotheby's Belgravia, 5 November 1974, lot 36), which depicts the malevolent Roman Empress of Swinburne's poem, in a letter dated 10 July 1880 to Charles Augustus Howell, 'they are the best drawings I have ever done' (MS letter, John Rylands University Library, Manchester).
Antigone was the daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus of Sophocles' Thebean tragedy, condemned by her uncle King Creon to be walled-up alive in a tower but spirited away by her cousin Haemon. Sandys drew Antigone startled by her captors, in a pose which is very similar to that of a contemporary painting of the same title painted by Leighton (sold in these rooms, 6 October 1980, lot 44).