Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd

  • Pen and ink
  • 10 ¼ × 14 ½ inches · 260 × 370 mm
  • Including designs for frames, a cartouche and a drawing of the head of a young woman
    Drawn c. 1730


  • Private collection, France

This characteristic sheet shows William Kent’s habit of combining his designs with whimsical marginalia.[1]

The studies at the top of the sheet, neatly contained within drawn borders, appear to be designs for furniture or picture frames; on the left a cartouche is surmounted by a mitre, crosier and cross possibly to surmount the portrait of a bishop and on the right a cartouche with a mace, suggesting it may have been designed for the portrait of a Lord Chancellor. During the 1730s Kent was involved in a series of schemes for rebuilding and refurbishing government buildings, including a new parliament building and the present designs may well relate to an aspect of the interior. At the bottom of the sheet is a small drawing of a cartouche containing swags, a female mask and shell, is reminiscent of motifs found on Kent’s seat furniture. The head of a young woman is typical of Kent’s ideal of female beauty and a variant features in many of his designs and drawings.


  1. See Julius Bryant, ‘William Kent’s Whimsical Marginalia’, Master Drawings, vol.LIII, 2015, pp.99-108.