Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.

Close
Thomas Williams, a Black Sailor

Photo credit: Tate

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.

Buy a print or image licence

You can purchase this reproduction

If you have any products in your basket we recommend that you complete your purchase from Art UK before you leave our site to avoid losing your purchases.

Notes

Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Downman was one of the most fashionable portraitists of his day. However, it is his original sketches of his sitters (rather than his finished portraits, executed in coloured chalks) which tend to show his insight into personality at its best. This is a remarkably sensitive late sketch of a black sailor made, as the inscription indicates, in Liverpool in 1815. Thomas Williams seems to have been acquainted with the famous MP William Wilberforce (1759–1833) who played a vital part in the passing of the 1807 Act which made slave trading illegal. The black chalk has been softened and smudged by Downman using a stump (a tightly rolled paper or leather cylinder with rounded points). This enabled him to model faces and flesh tones with great subtlety.

Tate

Art UK Founder Partner

More information

Date

1815

Medium

Chalk and graphite on paper

Measurements

H 31.5 x W 28.5 cm

Accession number

T10168

Acquisition method

Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

Work type

Drawing & watercolour


Tags

You can help us tag artworks on Tagger. The tags above come from the public, and also from an image recognition project run by the Visual Geometry Group, University of Oxford.