William Strang (1859 - 1921)

Portrait of a Seated Young Woman Sold

Red, black and white chalks on pink prepared paper.
Signed and dated W. STRANG / 1903 at the lower left.
420 x 270 mm. (16 1/2 x 10 5/8 in.) [sheet]

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From early in his career, Strang was recognized as a brilliant draughtsman. He was in particular much admired for his portrait drawings, inspired by those of Hans Holbein in the Royal Library at Windsor Castle, which he had studied closely. Between 1898 and 1909 Strang produced some five hundred drawings of this ‘Holbein’ type, characterized by the use of red and black chalks on paper washed pink or beige, and he continued to make them until the end of his career. Strang’s portrait drawings were never idealized and, as the designer Charles Ashbee, who sat for the artist, later recalled, ‘in each of his portraits there is some touch of his sitters’ ugliness revealed in the beauty of the draughtsmanship.’

Comparable drawings by Strang are in the collections of the Tate, the Fitzwilliam Museum, and several other museums.

Provenance:
The Fine Art Society, London, in October 1976
Acquired from them by Leo Herzel, Chicago
Thence by descent until 2012.

William STRANG

Portrait of a Seated Young Woman

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