Maud Frances Eyston Sumner (South African, 1902-1985)
'The Painter' (Self Portrait, Paris) signed and dated 'Sumner 38' (lower left); inscribed 'The Painter' (to frame verso) oil on canvas 65 x 54cm (25 9/16 x 21 1/4in).
PROVENANCE: Collection of the artist Thence by descent to the current owner
The pose Sumner adopts in the present lot is very similar to two self portraits of the 1930s; Self Portrait, 1933 (illust Harmsen, pl. 5) and Self Portrait, 1936 (illust. Eglington, pl. 1).
"This period of nearly a decade, from 1931 to the autumn of 1939, is a most important one in Maud Sumner's development and progress as a painter. It was a period, firstly, of consolidation: a crowded and exciting lustrum had passed since she settled in Paris, and the schools she had attended had done their work. She had now found her direction, and her affinity for Cézanne, for Vuillard and for Bonnard had given a firm base to her painting in oils. It was also the period of her most confident progress as an oil painter; and finally, during those years she reached the highest achievement of what might be called, conveniently as well as accurately, the first phrase of her development as a painter."(Ibid, p.14)
In her monograph Harmsen refers to the above work when discussing another self-portrait:
"There are at least three other self-portraits in oil. The earliest (1933) is a spontaneous sketch.... the other two, one dated 1938 and the other (mid 1940s) in the Pretoria Art Museum".
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Harmsen, F., Maud Sumner, Painter & Poet, Pretoria 1972 Eglington, C. Maud Sumner, Cape Town 1967.