, ,


‘… Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and only child of a substantial Dutch farmer. She was a blooming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a partridge, ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her father’s peaches, and universally famed, not merely for her beauty, but for her vast expectations. She was withal a little of a coquette, as might be perceived even in her dress, which was a mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set off her charms. She wore the ornaments of pure yellow gold, which her great-great grandmother had brought over from Saardam, the tempting stomacher of the olden time; and withal a provokingly short petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the country round.’
~ Washington Irving, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow


This sketch was left untouched at a faint, gestural stage since it was begun about four or five years ago and was only ‘finished’ up last Saturday night.

It has been pointed out to me that such a richly dressed Katrina looks rather more French than Dutch, and that the eighteenth-century Dutch Protestant settlers of the New World, even wealthy ones, would most likely have been more simply dressed. A very good point to which I concede and will bear in mind for a future revision of her. I can only plead that in responding to Irving’s description, it was too irresistible for me not to be indulgent and forget how Spartan Dutch bourgeois inclinations actually were. It would be a good future exercise to find that right balance which reflects this whilst still answering Irving’s wonderful text.