"Study of Two Heads." Sir Edward John Poynter (1836-1919). c. 1860. Graphite and brown pencil on laid paper. 285 x 306 mm (11 1/4 x 12 1/16 inches). [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary by Paul Crowther

Head Studies are all probably studies of Apostles done as commissions for the stained-glass makers James Powell and Co. He worked on many commissions for the company between 1857 and around 1863, often producing designs that never came to be made as windows. [The best discussion of Poynter’s work in this respect is Alan Brooks, "The Stained Glass Designs of Sir Edward Poynter".] The faces in the present studies have a somewhat mannered gravitas that is typical of Poynter’s treatment of the facial expressions of important figures.

You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art and and the National Gallery of Slovenia and the Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway (2) and link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.


Brooks, Alan. "The Stained Glass Designs of Sir Edward Poynter." The Victorian Society Annual. London, 1996: 27–36.

Crowther, Paul. Awakening Beauty: The Crowther-Oblak Collection of Victorian Art. Exhibition catalogue. Ljubljana: National Gallery of Slovenia; Galway: Moore Institute, National University of Ireland, 2014. No. 84.

Created 7 January 2015