Mrs Gertrude Massey (née Seth) (British, 1868-1957) The artist's niece, Maude Sybil Phoebe Fairweather (née Aflalo) (1896-1982), wearing white chemise, her arms crossed over her chest like wings, her mass of brown hair worn loose about her face
Lot 140Y
Mrs Gertrude Massey
(née Seth) (British, 1868-1957)
The artist's niece, Maude Sybil Phoebe Fairweather (née Aflalo) (1896-1982), wearing white chemise, her arms crossed over her chest like wings, her mass of brown hair worn loose about her face
Sold for £1,250 (US$ 1,960) inc. premium

Lot Details
Mrs Gertrude Massey (née Seth) (British, 1868-1957) The artist's niece, Maude Sybil Phoebe Fairweather (née Aflalo) (1896-1982), wearing white chemise, her arms crossed over her chest like wings, her mass of brown hair worn loose about her face
Mrs Gertrude Massey (née Seth) (British, 1868-1957)
The artist's niece, Maude Sybil Phoebe Fairweather (née Aflalo) (1896-1982), wearing white chemise, her arms crossed over her chest like wings, her mass of brown hair worn loose about her face.
Signed on the obverse Gertrude Massey, gold frame with pierced suspension loop, the reverse glazed, rectangular tan leather travelling case; together with a copy of the artist's autobiography, Kings, Commoners and Me (Blackie & Son Ltd, London, 1934) and a photograph of the artist.
Oval, 58mm (2 5/16in) high (3)
Provenance: The sitter; her only child Leslie Fairweather until 2012.

Footnotes

  • Maude was the only child of the artist's younger sister, Florence (b.1871). Florence was, like Gertrude, a painter of miniatures and is known to have shared a studio with her sister in Piccadilly for some years (Gertrude Massey, Kings, Commoners and Me, London, 1934, p.65), whilst her documented artistic activity spanned the period between 1908-1937. Born in Bournemouth, by 1911 Maude is recorded as living in the parish of Teignmouth, Devon. On 8 July 1941, Maude changed her name by deed poll to 'Fairweather', although a marriage is unrecorded.

    Gertrude Massey painted a plethora of miniatures depicting infant sitters throughout her extensive career: her body of work includes likenesses of the children of Queen Alexandra and Edward VII, executed at Balmoral Castle. Massey clearly readily engaged with the somewhat arduous task of painting younger sitters, outlining in her autobiography the necessary measures taken in order to capture accurate likenesses of her easily-distracted subjects:

    'When children are very young - and I have painted children of all ages - I prefer to paint them in their own surroundings. They soon begin to play and forget that I am watching them. If they are old enough, I give them pencil and paper and ask them to draw me. Thus I get a good look every time they raise their heads to study me' (Massey, p.83).
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