Closely associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Sandys was a friend of Dante Gabriel Rossetti and played an active role in the bohemian artistic, literary, and theatrical circles of the day in London. This is a portrait of Mary Emma Jones, the artist’s favorite model, mistress, and mother of his nine children. An extraordinarily skilled draftsman, here he worked in tone rather than line, delicately drawing in chalk on a rough textured sheet and leaving the low points of the paper untouched to produce a stippled, hazy effect. While Jones’s face is exquisitely detailed, the composition becomes increasingly indistinct at the edges, suggesting an apparition.
Brighton/Sheffield 1974, 36, no. 146, pl. 106; New York 1993, no. 21.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (8/27/00 - 10/17/00); NY, NY: The Pierpont Morgan Library (5/24/01- 8/19/01); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (10/14/01 - 1/6/02); "Master Drawings from The Cleveland Museum of Art", exh. cat. no. 80, pp.194-195; p.295.
Lemonedes, Heather. British Drawings: The Cleveland Museum of Art. Published on the occasion of the exhibition "British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art" shown 10 Feb to 26 May 2013 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. London: D Giles Limited, 2013. Cat 40, pg 118-21.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (02/10/2013 - 05/26/2013); "British Drawings from the Cleveland Museum of Art"