Mrs. Leo D'Erlanger signed 'J.Lavery' and stamped 'STUDY FOR THEIR MAJESTIES COURT Buckingham Palace 1931' (lower right) oil on canvas laid on board 50.4 x 30.2 cm. (19 2/3 x 11 7/8 in.)
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Canada.
The present portrait study would have been painted in preparation for Lavery's impressive lost work, Their Majesties' Court, Buckingham Palace, now known only by a black and white archive image (illustrated in Kenneth McConkey, Sir John Lavery, Canongate Press, Edinburgh, 1993, p.181). According to the critic for The National Geographic Their Majesties' Court, Buckingham Palace 'caused a stir at this year's  Royal Academy and... won unstinted praise from the critics...', it provided 'ample evidence of the skill that has made Sir John the most sought after Court and Society portraitist of our time' (Loc.cit). This study would have been made from sittings at Lavery's studio then combined with a number of further studies to produce the large painting of the women of George V's court.
The lady depicted is thought to be of Courtier Mrs. Leo D'Erlanger; granddaughter of Frédéric Emile D'Erlanger, one of Paris's foremost bankers in the second half of the nineteenth Century and mother to Minnie D'Erlinger who married Winston Churchill, journalist and grandson of Sir Winston Churchill.