Portrait of a Girl

Portrait of a Girl

Emma Sandys, 1843-1877

Coloured chalks on paper watermarked MS

Signed with monogram

15 1/4 X 12 1/8 inches, 38.8 X 30.7 cm.

This drawing lies on the boundary between a portrait and an imaginative work, a type of image which the Pre-Raphaelites and their circle made distinctively their own. Also Pre-Raphaelite, or rather Rossettian, is the fascination with flowing hair. This image, with the sitter's enigmatic closed eyes, remains difficult to interpret. The holly, however, signifies foresight in the language of flowers. Perhaps if the other plant could be identified more light would be shed on the meaning of the work. [Morgan and Nahum, 137].