Karen Taylor Fine Art

Agent, Advisor and Dealer in British Art

William Mulready, R.A. ( 1786-1863)

A sheet of knee studies

William Mulready


A sheet of knee studies
Extensively inscribed, dated 15.7.1838, pencil, black, red and white chalk
Irregular 25.8 x 21 cm

Mulready was elected to the R.A. in 1816 and became an Attending Visitor (teacher) at the Royal Academy Life School, where he was noted as still hard at work, like any young student, at the age of 73. His life drawings are acclaimed for the fineness of their execution and the level of detail and understanding of anatomy which they display.
Queen Victoria, on her visit to the 1864 R.A. exhibition commented favourably on his ‘fine chalk drawings of the naked figure which dear Albert so admired’.

The full pencil inscription on the sheet reveals a close observation of the working of the joint:

These sketches are not worth one moments consideration (either in)/ point of form, taste, or execution, but they are well enough to illus trate a mode of study that would be found more useful than  any other that I am acquainted with. T he student should first be  able to draw from casts.
No 1 & No 2
The same limb in the very same view.
The knee perfectly strait, (sic) but the mus:s (muscles)  of No 1 with the least possible action, and the muscles  of No 2 in a very strong action, supporting the  weight of the body, the centre of gravity being  supported near the heel.
No 3
The same limb in the same view  but the knee a little bent  supporting the weight of the body.

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