Interior of cottage with figures
Attributed to Andrew Geddes ARA (1783 - 1844)
RA Collection: Art
This drawing depicts two figures in the centre of the picture sitting on chairs with another leaning on the back of a chair to the right. A staircase leads up on the left-hand side and various objects that could be kitchenware and other working equipment is dotted around. The title given by the owner suggests it is an interior of a cottage, but it could equally depict a servants' quarters in the basement of a small house.
Andrew Geddes ARA (1783-1844) was a Scottish painter and etcher, born in Edinburgh. In 1806 he entered the Royal Academy Schools in London. Between 1814 and 1831, he visited Paris, Rome and travelled on the Continent. He painted and etched copies of Old Masters, of which he had a considerable collection, but was mostly influenced by Rembrandt and Rubens. He also produced biblical pictures, costume pieces and landscapes. He was elected ARA in 1832. The contents of his studio were auctioned at Christie's, 8-12 April 1845.
This work was in the collection of Carel Weight RA and was given to the Royal Academy as part of his bequest. Weight purchased the drawing from Abbott and Holder in March 1972, who in turn had bought it from a sale at Sotheby's a month earlier.
The work has been attributed to Andrew Geddes and although it is very different in style and subject matter from his paintings and other drawings, there are certain drawings attributed to Geddes in the collections of the British Museum and National Gallery of Scotland that bear similarities (see online databases and Helen Smailes, Andrew Geddes 1783-1844 Painter-Printmaker: 'A Man of Pure Taste', exh. cat., National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, 2001, fig. 44, p. 52) . However, the National Gallery of Scotland drawings were also purchased from Abbott and Holder, in 1998, which suggests that they may have come from the same group that Weight bought his from. The British Museum drawing, on the other hand, was donated by Sir Harry Wilson in 1918.
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