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Artist sketching woman in the street
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Artist sketching woman in the street


Philip William May (1864 - 1903)

Height: 28.8 cm; Width: 22.7 cm;

Inscription, PHIL MAY 94.
Inscription, Read with while
Inscription, 3821 Arts Council Exh. 1948/9
Inscription, Philip William May (Phil May) / British 1864-1903 / Signed 'Phil May 1894 / Open //
Inscription, No 77
Inscription, 136
Inscription, Type. (to artist. who is making a sketch), "Well, p'raps you'll know / me agin when you see me." / Artist., "No, not if you wash your face." / Phil May //
Collector's mark, collector's mark of Sir Robert Witt (L.2228b)
Inscription, L L - 11 /8 x 9 p

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952

About this work
Phil May’s spontaneous line and minimal background contrast vividly with the carefully worked drawings of his contemporaries. His free and lively style influenced a generation of black-and-white illustrators to follow. In his witty but sympathetic manner, May stereotypes Londoners of the street, a social group given little attention by contemporary illustrators such as George du Maurier. Here, an artist, most probably May himself, encounters a large and overbearing woman — judging by her outfit, probably a shopkeeper or street vendor. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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