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Alfred the Great Dividing His Loaf with a Pilgrim 1779: PD.7-1989

Object information


Alfred the Great Dividing His Loaf with a Pilgrim 1779


Boydell, Josiah (Draughtsman)

Legal notes

From the Biffen Fund.

Measurements and weight

Height: 445 mm
Width: 618 mm

Relative size of this object

61.8 m44.5 m What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1989) by Ganz, Kate


A preparatory drawing for an engraving by William Sharp after the painting by Benjamin West which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1779 (no. 341) and presented to the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers by John Boydell in 1779 or 1780. The precise nature of the drawing is unclear. Boydell frequently made drawings preparatory to engravings, but it is also possibly that this could have been intended as a display 'sample' copy to interest potential purchasers of Sharp's engraving.

School or Style


Materials used in production

Blue chalk
Grey beige chalk
Black chalk

Components of the work

Support composed of paper

Techniques used in production

Drawing : Black, grey beige, white and blue coloured chalks on paper

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: ( ) ah Boydell delin.
  • Location: Lower right
  • Type: Signature
  • Text: 9th November 1779
  • Location: Lower right, below the above
  • Type: Date

Identification numbers

Accession number: PD.7-1989
Primary reference Number: 9001
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 3 August 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Alfred the Great Dividing His Loaf with a Pilgrim 1779" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-06-27 09:45:43

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Alfred the Great Dividing His Loaf with a Pilgrim 1779 |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-06-27 09:45:43|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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