Euphemia Lamb signed 'John' (centre right) pencil 34 x 17 cm. (13 3/8 x 6 5/8 in.)
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the family of the present owner
We are grateful to Rebecca John for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
'An unaffected English beauty, Euphemia had a perfect sense of theatre enabling her to fall into any pose, instinctively with absolute ease of conviction'. (Keith Clements, Henry Lamb, The Artist and his Friends, Redcliffe Press, Bristol, 1985, p.33)
The painter, Henry Lamb (1883-1960) met his first wife, Nina Forest (Euphemia) in 1905. Due to her ambiguous past and fondness for romanticising she was known by several names. Henry christened her Euphemia after the tragic Saint. 'In renaming her, Henry, Pygmalion like, had set her in something of a classical mould'. (Loc.Cit)
Their relationship was highly volatile and they spent the majority of their 20 year marriage apart. Euphemia had many lovers, including artists for whom she posed. One, James Dickson Innes, buried her love letters at the top of Mountain Arenig, a subject that appeared frequently in his work.
Augustus John was also enchanted by her 'mercurial presence' (Op.Cit.p.37) and sketched her on numerous occasions. She appears alongside his wives Dorelia and Ida in the painting The Way Down to the Sea (1909-11, Private Collection).