A Sacrifice Interrupted

A Sacrifice Interrupted

1770s

John Hamilton Mortimer

(British, 1740-1779)

Pen and brown ink

Support: Cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 24.5 x 36 cm (9 5/8 x 14 3/16 in.); Secondary Support: 31.7 x 43.7 cm (12 1/2 x 17 3/16 in.)

Cornelia Blakemore Warner Fund and Delia E. Holden Fund 1978.20

Description

One of the most talented draftsmen of his generation in England, Mortimer became known for a style of drawing in pen and ink that was bold, confident, and energetic. This drawing depicts a large crowd in a frieze-like arrangement gathered to witness a figure with an axe on the verge of decapitating a young male captive. Mortimer deliberately sought out obscure narratives and leaned toward the violent and macabre. In spite of the research of numerous art historians, the specific subject of the drawing has yet to be identified.

See also
Collection: 
DR - British
Department: 
Drawings
Type of artwork: 
Drawing

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