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Fine Arts, Academic Study, Male Nude, Archer, Drawing, Linnell, British, c. 1840s


William Linnell (British, 1826-1906) (attributed to)
Male Nude, Archer Pose
Charcoal or black chalk on paper
Provenance: James R. Lamantia, Jr. until 2012. By descent from the artist William Linnell to Mrs. Joan Linnell Burton, England, until 1994.
27.25 x 19.5 inches overall

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Figure academic study of a male nude posed as if an archer drawing his bow; one arm is extended as if holding the bow, and the other is with elbow bent at shoulder height as if pulling the string for discharging the arrow. The athletic muscular man leans back slightly, one knee resting on a prop, the other leg extended. Drawing from live models was part of academic 19th-century art training as well as a way that artists typically made preparatory studies for paintings.

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This work has been attributed to William Linnell by the former owner: art scholar and dealer James Lamantia, Jr. (1923-2011). At the time of his death, Lamantia was Emeritus Professor of Architecture at Tulane University in New Orleans. He was also a practicing architect, and an artist. Prior to its acquisition by Lamantia, this drawing — along with numerous other works — was owned until 1994 by Mrs. Joan Linnell Burton by descent from the artist. She also owned works by William’s brother and father. The provenance is written on the back of the drawing — probably in the hand of Lamantia — together with the name “William Linnell” in script, in a different hand.

William Linnell was an English painter and draftsman of landscape and genre pictures. He came from a family of artists that included his father and brother, both named John Linnell. He attended the Royal Academy Schools around 1845, and had a distinguished career, exhibiting there regularly from 1851 to 1891. From around 1861 to 1867 Linnell also worked in Italy. His main subjects were paintings of the Italian and the English countrysides, pastoral views that often depicted rural folk at work. His paintings and drawings today are in the collections of a number of British institutions, including the Tate Gallery and the Fitzwilliam Museum.

Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling, wear. Minor smudging, but overall relatively crisp and clean.


Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 5, p. 592.

“William Linell.” Art UK. (22 May 2018).

“William Linell.” Victorian Artists. 1997. (22 May 2018).