Man Carrying Sticks

Louisa Anne Beresford (née Stuart), Marchioness of Waterford (1818-1891)


Pencil, ink and shades of sepia

"Scrap-Book," Victoria and Albert Museum.

Bequeathed by Miss M. A. V. Cochran, cousin and god-daughter of the artist.

Courtesy of the Victoria and Albert Museum

The museum describes the sketches in this scrapbook are "mostly of Biblical or emblematical subjects, for paintings, frescoes, portraits and landscapes." Could this be the hapless man who is stoned to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath, in Exodus 31: 12-17? He seems bowed down under the load, arms crossed as he grasps the strapping, eyes on the uneven sloping ground, as he makes his way down — towards his doom? In any case, it is a powerful and sympathetic study. — Jacqueline Banerjee