Attributed to Alfred Hassam, Preacher Giving a Sermon - 1860s graphite drawing

An original 1860s graphite drawing, Attributed to Alfred Hassam Preacher Giving a Sermon.

A humorous graphite drawing, with watercolour overpainting, of a preacher raising his hand to give a sermon to his gentleman companion in the top hat. This drawing came to us in a folio of drawings by one Albert A. Harcourt, bearing an inscription that reads 'Alfred Hassam, ex. 1865-1868'. Alfred Hassam (1842-1869) was an Pre-Raphaelite artist, most well know for his stained glass designs while he worked for the firm Heaton, Butler and Bayne of London. Though he died young, at the age of 27, he did exhibit some works in oil and watercolour at the Royal Academy and the Royal Society of British Artists. This image bears some similarity to a pen and ink drawing of a comical London street scene attributed to Hassam, so it is possible this work was acquired as part of Harcourt's collection of local and contemporary artists.  

Unsigned. Inscribed on a separate fragment of paper: 'Alfred Hassam, ex. 1865-1868'.
Some minor foxing and light overall age toning as shown. Otherwise, in very good condition. 
11.9cm x 8.2cm.

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-054

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