The drawing itself features a side profile of a young woman staring off to the right hand side. Her hair is plain, with a bun that keeps it tidy for the artist. She is presented naturally, without any makeup or glamorous clothing, which is how Waterhouse tended to prefer his models. She has slightly more angular features that the artist would normally choose, with a strong jawline and high, bridged nose. Her eyes are also fairly deep-set giving a slightly less feminine appearance than you will find in most of Waterhouse's other portrait sketches. We were unfortunately unable to locate any connection to later oil paintings and little information is provided on this particular piece, even though it is now a part of a public collection. Hopefully in time its present owners, The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, UK, will take some time to learn more about this prized possession.
This item was gifted to the museum in 2009 by the Mr Arthur Grogan, Mrs Helen Grogan, Art Fund and perhaps the reason why not so much information is available on it is because they have only recently acquired it. There is an inscription stamp in the top left corner which was given to all of his drawings prior to be auctioned off just a few years after his death. Without the stamp, such items will be questioned as to their precise authentication. It was the artist's wife who organised the mass auction, where so many of her husband's artworks were put up for sale that many would be put in groups in order to reduce the number of lots. In today's market their owners will more likely sell each piece individually, so as to allow the true value of each one to be realised.
This drawing can be found in the collection of the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, UK. The city itself played a key part in the Industrial Revolution and so enjoyed large amounts of wealth during the Victorian period. Today, many great British artists from the 19th century can be found within the city, with the Whitworth being amongst the best galleries here. They currently hold over 60,000 different items, most of which are connected to British art history, and they also carry out large research projects annually which aim to delve deeper into their collection. The Ancient of Days by William Blake is one of the notable artworks to be found here, and you will also find other notable names represented here including JMW Turner, Richard Parkes Bonington, Millais, Rossetti, Holman Hunt and Burne-Jones, providing an impressive survey of British art from the past few centuries.