Search the Collection

Preliminary drawings for busts and statues by Sir Francis Chantrey, circa 1807-40

203 Portraits in set

202 drawings on paper, profile and full-face, made with a device that the artist called a 'camera lucida', with which he traced the outlines of the head on to a sheet of paper. The 'camera lucida' was a wooden machine which kept the head of the sitter still whilst the artist drew the profile and front face at life size. They served as preliminary studies for clay models made by Chantrey's studio assistants and completed by the artist himself. They were usually realised at several informal sessions beginning with breakfast and accompanied by friends to ensure that conversation would keep the sitter animated. The clay models were then transferred to plaster casts and finally to marble busts.

List Thumbnail