This sketch relates to two similar studies at Tate Britain of Bartholomew dated circa 1660.1 Both Tate pictures are also painted in oil on paper, and the treatment of the subject is comparable to this portrait, with the head and hair finely modelled. The Tate sketches are, however, more loosely painted in the bodies of the child, with a simple white collar, below which the area of the body is left unpainted, with the ground showing, and set against a dark background. It seems likely that the original appearance of the present work would perhaps have been more akin to the Tate sketches when finished by Beale – the rather more elaborate costume here is likely to be a later addition, executed at the same time as the strengthening visible throughout the background.
1 Inv. nos T13245 and T13246.
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