With Agnew's, London, 2002; with W.S. Fine Art, London; sale, London, Christie's, 'Andrew Wyld: Connoisseur Dealer', 10 July 2013, lot 35
From the early 1770s, John Howard (1726-1790) - who was born in London and had inherited a modest fortune on the death of his father - devoted the later part of his life to trying to improve the conditions of prisons (lazarettos) throughout Britain and Europe. Moved by Howard’s considerable efforts, Romney began preparations for an oil of the subject and, although the painting was never completed, he created a number of powerful drawings such as the present lot. There is, for example, a similar drawing by Romney, which is dated circa 1771-72, at Tate Britain (T03547).
This drawing has survived in good condition. The paper is well preserved. The ink has perhaps softened slightly with time but the image is still strong and clear.
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