Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ellen Terry at the piano

inscribed 'Ellen Terry' (lower right) 
pencil and stump 
12 x 8¾ in. (31 x 22 cm.) 

The present drawing is of Watts' first wife, the actress Ellen Terry, whom he married in 1864. The most famous image of Ellen Terry is perhaps the painting that Watts made of her immediately after their marriage, in which she wears her wedding dress, becoming almost entwined in the dense camellia bush that fills the rest of the picture. 

In order to create the soft shadows produced by the folds of his wife's dress in the present drawing, Watts used the medium stump, a coil of leather, felt or paper with blunt points at both ends used to rub on chalk, pencil, pastel or charcoal. 

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