SYMONS, ARTHUR [WILLIAM] (1865-1945, poet and critic) PORTRAIT BY MATHILDE LA COMTESSE VICTOR SALLIE
Lot 152
SYMONS, ARTHUR WILLIAM (1865-1945, poet and critic) PORTRAIT BY MATHILDE LA COMTESSE VICTOR SALLIER DE LA TOUR (1852-1912),
Sold for £1,440 (US$ 2,387) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
SYMONS, ARTHUR WILLIAM (1865-1945, poet and critic)
PORTRAIT BY MATHILDE LA COMTESSE VICTOR SALLIER DE LA TOUR (1852-1912),
oil on canvas, half-length, half turned to the right, signed and dated 'Mahaut' (the M crowned) 1898, evidence of some restoration mostly to the background, 281/2 x 23 in (72.4 x 58.4 cm).

Footnotes

  • Exhibited: Cheltenham Literary Festival, Faces and Places, 1982.

    REFERENCES: Karl Beckson, Arthur Symons: A Life, 1987; Roger Lhombreaud, Arthur Symons: A Critical Biography, 1963, especially note 67, p. 317.

    'Mahaut' is a known diminutive for Mathilde. After his father's death in May 1898 Symons left England for the continent where he stayed for a period of eight months, two of them with the La Comtesse Victor Sallier de la Tour (née Mathilde Ruinard de Bromond) at Chateau du Chameane in the Auvergne. A portraitist of considerable talent, she painted Symons' portrait while he was there: 'Her portrait of me is by no means commonplace: it flatters me; but it is a real "portrait de femme", a portrait as a woman always does a portrait, making one look inconceivably good! Will no one ever do the real me?' (Beckson, p. 182). The crown on the signature doubtless makes reference to the Comtesse's aristocratic status. Symons dedicated his book Cities to her.

    'The portrait, in Symons's possession at Island Cottage in the 1920s, has not thus far been located' (Beckson, p.182). Its recent rediscovery was hampered by the Comtesse's disguised signature. It was acquired in 1982.
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