Self-taught, Thomas Lawrence was an instinctive draughtsman, who went on to become President of the Royal Academy. He understood the importance of gesture in communicating character and in introducing a sense of movement in portraits. Gently folding as they pick up a thread or piece of fabric, these hands convey the grace, delicacy and sensitivity of the unknown female sitter.
Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830)
Study of hands
Red and black chalks on paper, 11.5 x 25.9 cm
Given by the Friends of the Fitzwilliam Museum, 1972