Albert A. Harcourt, Woman in Historical Costume - Original 1880 graphite drawing

An original 1880 graphite drawing, Albert A. Harcourt Woman in Historical Costume.

An attractive collection of graphite drawings of various female figures in historical costume, possibly drawn from characters in the theatre or from literature. 

Unsigned. Inscribed indistinctly and dated verso.
Foxing as shown. Large central fold crease as shown. Small hole to the centre. Abrasion and loss to the upper layer of the paper centre verso. 
18.5cm x 15cm.

Albert A. Harcourt, of South Belgravia, London, clearly took a very keen interest in some of the visual spectacles that were available to him, as a late Victorian gentleman-about-town. Many of the studies in this collection depict the characters in popular plays and operettas that were on the London stage during the period, and a particular taste for the French-themed productions that were fashionable at the time, with their elaborate costumes.

Ships were clearly another of Harcourt’s interests: many different types of sailing vessel are depicted in the sketchbook, again with a real eye for detail. Finally, though an address in Belgravia would certainly have been convenient for visiting London’s theatres, Harcourt appears to have been extremely well travelled. One sketch of a ship in our collection is described as being made ‘off Cape Horn,’ while other works depict Native Americans, apparently in the United States. Other, later sketchbooks by Harcourt exist showing the various types of people to be found in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). Wherever he went, it seems, Harcourt was fascinated by variations in dress and appearance, and the means of travel around the world.

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Product code: JJ-039

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