Study of hands
* 1782 in Edinburgh † 1850 in Edinburgh
Black and red chalk over graphite and heightened in white. Size of sheet: 26 x 16.2 cm.
Provenance: Christopher Powney, London, 1970s.
With the artist's monogram stamped verso.
The Scottish painter William Allan visited Russia in 1805 and stayed there until 1814. He travelled extensively in the region, and also visited Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain and Morocco. He was elected President of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1835. His oeuvre largely consists of Russian and Scottish historical scenes and can be seen in various museums and galleries in Russia, Scotland and England(1).
He was inspired by the drawing technique of Antoine Watteau (1684 – 1721). His French patron, Auguste Comte de Lagarde, described him as ‘Our Scottish Raphael’ (2).
 J. Howard, William Allan: artist adventurer, Edinburgh, 2001.
 Auguste Comte de Lagarde in Voyage de Moscou à Vienne, Paris & Strasbourg, Paris, 1824.