This previously unrecorded portrait of William Wordsworth was made by John Scarlett Davis in 1832.
The rapidly made pencil study shows Wordsworth in a characteristically ruminative pose, head bowed in concentration, this was the pose Benjamin Robert Haydon adopted for his 1842 portrait now in the National Portrait Gallery, London. Of the twenty-seven works exhibited in Davis's lifetime at the major London venues, most were oil paintings; and he enjoyed a successful practice as a portrait painter. Yet his modern reputation rests almost entirely on his watercolours—and above all on his interior views, in which his particular genius was revealed. In his freedom and facility of touch he can be regarded as a worthy follower of Richard Parkes Bonington, and the draughtsmanship in some of his interior scenes owes an apparent debt also to Rembrandt.