Ralph : The Maid of the Mill
Pencil and watercolour on wove paper
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (211) 1975 London, Hayward Gallery, "The Georgian Playhouse" (141)
Ralph, in a red wig, wears black shoes, blue stockings, yellowish breeches, and coat, a waistcoat in faded pink, and a white stock.
Ashton et al 1992 Pictures in the Garrick Club considered the possibility that this drawing was "preparatory to Thornthwaite's engraving rather than the painting, G0071. This is the only De Wilde drawing that can be associated with the 1797 edition of Bell's “British Theatre”. There are oil versions for all four plates inscribed "De Wilde del…." They are all in the Garrick Club: G0020, G0071, G0140, and G0657."
However according to the DeWilde Diary 1810-11811 held in teh Garrick Club drawing, this drawing was made for Charles Mathews in 1811:
“Tuesday 14. Took home Mr Fawcett he paid me 0:10:0 Mr Jones called. I began the drawing of Tom Blanchard for Mr Mathews. [see G0072].” p113
“Wednesday 15 Worked on the Drawing of Tom Blanchard.” p113
“Saturday 18 – I called on Mr Mathews of the Lyceum, he lent me 2 pounds. Returned home to work on Tom Blanchard.” p114
"Saturday [June] 15 Called on Mathews at Lyceum. He lik’d the Drawing of Tom Blanchard." p116.
As Mathews had already acquired an oil painting of the same subject at the sale by John Bell sale at Robins in 1805 (see G0071), the reasoning behind acquiring this second drawing remains puzzling.