Oct 24, 2005
Jan 19, 2009

Head of a Woman

Head of a Woman

1894 or after

Thomas Wilmer Dewing

(American, 1851–1938)


Support: Cream(3) wove paper prepared with a beige(1) ground

Sheet: 35.3 x 30.2 cm (13 7/8 x 11 7/8 in.)

The Fanny Tewksbury King Collection 1956.725



This remarkable drawing reveals the beauty of silverpoint, which requires scratching with a metal point on to a prepared paper. A demanding technique that allows no corrections, the method was used in the Renaissance by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, and it was revived in the late 19th century. Beginning in 1896, the art supply company Winsor-Newton offered a kit with a silverpoint tool and prepared paper. Dewing skillfully exploited the qualities of this technique to create an image with a silvery sheen, which seems to float upon the paper.

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