Description: PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
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STUDY FOR ANTIGONE
52 by 41 cm., 20 1/2 by 16 1/2 in.
signed and inscribed c.l.: Study for/ Antigone/ F. Sandys.
black, white and red chalks
Theodore Rossi (a Norwich picture dealer) in 1883;
Lt. Col. Edward S. Trafford of Wroxham Hall by 1905 and thence by descent
Norwich, Fine Art Exhibition in Aid of the New Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, 20-25 August 1883, no. 16;
Norwich, Norwich Art Circle, 45th Exhibition, Including Some Work by the Late F. A. Sandys, May 1905, no. 72
Betty Elzea, Frederick Sandys 1829-1904, A Catalogue Raisonné, 2001, p. 260, cat. no. 4.3
Sandys wrote of the present drawing and its pendant Faustine (Sotheby's Belgravia, 5 November 1974, lot 36), which depicts the malevolent Roman Empress of Swinburne's poem, in a letter dated 10 July 1880 to Charles Augustus Howell, 'they are the best drawings I have ever done' (MS letter, John Rylands University Library, Manchester).
Antigone was the daughter of Jocasta and Oedipus of Sophocles' Thebean tragedy, condemned by her uncle King Creon to be walled-up alive in a tower but spirited away by her cousin Haemon. Sandys drew Antigone startled by her captors, in a pose which is very similar to that of a contemporary painting of the same title painted by Leighton (sold in these rooms, 6 October 1980, lot 44).