William Lock the Younger, Classical Goddess & Battle Sketches - 1780 ink drawing


An original 1780 pen & ink drawing, William Lock the Younger Sketches: Classical Goddess & Battle Studies.

A wonderful double-sided sheet of early studies by William Lock the Younger of Norbury (1767-1847). The face page is filled with dynamic sketches - including battle scenes, a formidable female classical figure and additional cursive inscriptions - which all combine to give a powerful impression of Lock's lively intellect. The female figure resembles Lock's studies of Dido in the British Museum BM 1991,1005.3.

There are further drawings on the verso in graphite, showing Roman soldiers, dated 1780. 

William Lock was a talented draughtsman working in the circle of Henry Fuseli in Rome towards the end of the 18th century, known for his drawings of historical, mythological, biblical and Shakespearean subjects. Sir Horace Walpole was a great admirer of his work and Fuseli described the young Lock’s drawings as ‘unrivaled by any man of this day...for invention, taste and spirit.’

This drawing is one of a collection of Lock’s drawings that we have for sale, the cover of which beared the signature of Lock (see photo).The drawing is dated 1780 on the verso, which dates the works to early in Lock’s adolescence and shows his precocious talent and the early influence of Henry Fuseli.

In brown ink and graphite on a rough textured buff-coloured paper. The sheet is accompanied by a backing sheet, in the same paper, which was the corresponding backing page from a folio.

Provenance: Covent Garden Gallery. Christie's 2016.

The paper has some faint historic crease lines and the deckled edges of the sheet are somewhat even, as shown. There are two light patches of surface abrasion to the upper left and lower right corners, and an adhesive mark to the lower left, where the paper was historically laid down. The backing sheet has deckled edges, with nicks and some age toning, commensurate with age.
29.5cm x 21cm.

William Lock was son of noted collector William Lock of Norbury (1732-1810), who was a well-known and important patron and collector of several major contemporary artists, including George Barret, Thomas Lawrence, Richard Wilson and Henry Fuseli. William Lock (elder) acquired a number of Richard Wilson’s drawings from when the pair travelled together from Venice to Rome, he commissioned George Barret and Bartolomeo Cipriani to decorate his estate at Norbury in Surrey, and Thomas Lawrence produced portraits of both Lock father and son (now in Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Yale Centre for British Art respectively).

Lock the Younger studied with William Gilpin, but it was his father’s patronage of Henry Fuseli, however, that was to have the greatest influence on him. He became a pupil and close friend of Fuseli, and the influence of Fuseli’s style and subject matter is evident in Lock’s work. Fuseli was a frequent visitor at Norbury and he dedicated his lectures on painting to him. Despite this encouragement, Lock largely gave up artistic practice while still in his twenties.

William Lock the Younger’s work is in a number of public collections, including Tate, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, Yale Centre for British Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York.

Text copyright © 2018 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JK-927

Share this Product