Pictorial frontispiece

Pictorial frontispiece

Christiana Hammond

Photomechanical reproduction of pen and ink drawing.

5¼ x 3½ inches

W.M.Thackeray’s Vanity Fair

This illustration, which shows the moment Sir Pitt proposes to Becky, typifies Hammond’s sharp characterization. Becky is depicted as a sharp-featured, imperious woman who dominates the space around her. Background details are realistically shown, although Hammond edits the irrelevant: in this composition the edge of the fireplace and sideboard are simply cut off by the frame. This effect contributes to the scene’s spontaneity, an impression also created by the hatching. Hammond’s drawing using pen and ink is generally accomplished, although the photomechanical reproduction fails to capture the fine quality of the execution; a shortcoming repeated through almost all of her publications.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke.

[You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the person who scanned the image and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one.]