Simon Bussy 1870-1954
N05662 Lady Strachey
Oil on canvas, 35 1/8 x 29 ¼ (89 x 74)
Presented by Miss Philippa Strachey and Miss Joan Pernel Strachey 1946
Prov: Lady Strachey, London; Miss Philippa Strachey and Miss Joan Pernel Strachey, London
Lady Strachey, née Grant (1840-1928). She married Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Strachey as his second wife and bore him no less than thirteen children, including the historian Lytton Strachey; her daughter Dorothea married Simon Bussy in 1903. A woman of great strength of character, her wide circle of friends included Robert Browning, George Eliot, the Carlyles, Darwin, and Virginia and Leonard Woolf. An account of her and her very gifted family is given in Betty Askwith's Two Victorian Families
(London 1971). The author describes on pp.44 and 64 the consternation produced in the household by Dorothea's announcement that she had become engaged to Bussy, a penniless French painter, of peasant origin. However, Lady Strachey and her husband finally accepted the situation with good grace, and bought the couple a house at Roquebrune.
Simon Bussy wrote (June 1952) that this portrait was commissioned by her and painted about 1905, and that it was never exhibited.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.90, reproduced p.90