29 Study of a Female Figure

Title: Study of a Female Figure

Artist/Source: Thomas Saunders Nash (1891 1968), Slade student 1909-12

Date: 1911

Medium/Technique: pencil on paper

UCL Art Museum #6031

Thomas Saunders Nash’s female figure is both individualized and contextualised. The figure’s hunched shoulders express a weariness from holding a pose in the life room, incriminating the viewer in her discomfort and reminding us of the artist’s presence in the image. Nash’s figure’s head projects and her nose appears to draw her foreword in a bored wilt. She wears a contemporary hairstyle that seems to challenge the concept of the Nude, rendering Nash’s figure naked. The strong, aggressive contour he lends the figure further breaks with the traditional depiction of the female Nude. His figure diverges, for example, from the anatomical types of the anatomical drawings of his fellow Slade student, Kathleen Hodgson (see in this pack). The drawing won first prize for Figure Drawing in both 1911 and 1912. Nash eventually moved beyond the life drawing class at the Slade to take a greater interest in landscapes, depicting mostly Arcadian scenes.

Related works:

Thomas Saunders Nash, Male Figure Standing, 1912, oil on canvas (UCL Art Museum #5202).

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