Three studies of a woman's head and face

Three studies of a woman's head and face; for the panel of painted tiles representing 'Spring' in the Grill-Room of the South Kensington Museum, now the Victoria & Albert Museum by Sir Edward John Poynter Bt PRA RWS (1839-1919). Early 1870s. Pencil on white paper: 10 x 10 1/2 inches, 25.5 x 27 centimetres.

Marked with Poynter's studio stamp (Lugt, Frits, Les Marques de Collections, 1921, number 874). Provenance: Sir John and Lady Witt

Commentary by Hilary Morgan

A scheme of ceramic decorations for the refectory and grill-room of the South Kensington Museum was first discussed in 1866. The rooms were only partially decorated when they opened in 1868, and the pictorial elements, for which Poynter provided 'the designs, were perhaps not even begun at this stage. Poynter was responsible for twelve panels representing the months of the year and four of the Seasons as well as a series of roundels representing mythological subjects on the lower part of the walls. The roundels were completed first and bear dates of 1868 and 1869; the Months are variously dated 1869, 1870 and 1871. The Seasons are not dated, but were perhaps done last. The present drawing is related to the right-hand figure, of a woman who bends down to pick up a child, in the composition 'Spring'. [Compare another sketch]


Morgan, Hilary and Nahum, Peter. Burne-Jones, The Pre-Raphaelites and Their Century. London: Peter Nahum, 1989. Catalogue number 109.

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Last modified 07 January 2002