No place (probably England): no publisher, early nineteenth century. Original ink and watercolor drawing, measuring 12.25 x 8.25 inches, displayed against an ivory mat in a wooden frame, the whole measuring 16.5 x 12.25 inches. Left edge of drawing slightly uneven, presumably where it was removed from a sketchbook. Wooden frame nicked and worn, with paint mark at lefthand edge; old wire loop embedded at top of frame, later paper backing and hanging wire to verso. Not examined out of frame.
Striking nineteenth-century drawing, demonstrating the use of a grid to scale an image: “to enlarge or diminish by means of a square.” The drawing features three separate vignettes. At the top, a young woman with an elaborate coiffure poses in a grid of 120 squares. In the center of the drawing, her portrait is reproduced on a reduced scale in a smaller grid. The final vignette introduces the idea of linear perspective, depicting a rectangular solid whose orthogonals lead to a single vanishing point: the spyglass of a mysterious observer. Swathed in robes, gripping a staff, this theatrically attired figure may be mythological in origin; she is certainly not a contemporary of the woman featured in the grid. A strange and wonderful survival.