Sir James Guthrie, PRSA HRA RSW LLD (British, 1859-1930)
Miss Isabella H. Gardiner signed 'J. Guthrie' (lower right) oil on canvas 110.8 x 85.7 cm. (43 5/8 x 33 3/4 in.) Painted in 1899
PROVENANCE: Mrs George Elmslie Troup, Edinburgh, Thence by descent.
LITERATURE: J.L. Caw, Sir James Guthrie, Macmillan, London, 1932, pl. XVI, pp. 72, 87, 129, 220
"..and a portrait of Miss Gardiner, which, if never quite finished, is one of his most subtle and personal pictures." (p. 72)
"Of what may be called his Whistlerian pictures...probably the most personal and the most vitally expressive is the three-quarter length of his cousin, Miss Isabella Gardiner, seated at a piano. A scheme of cool yet not cold greys and dusky browns, flushing in the head and hands into pearly tints...It is at the same time the basis of a singularly attractive interpretation of character...creates very quietly an impression of singularly sympathetic and intelligent personality and gives the picture its exceptionally haunting appeal." (ibid p. 87).
Inspired by Whistler, most of the Glasgow Boys took to portraiture once their careers were established, particularly Guthrie and Lavery, both of whom secured important public commissions. Guthrie painted several members of the Gardiner family.