John S. CurrieHead of a Woman 1913

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Artwork details

Artist
John S. Currie (c.1884‑1914)
Title
Head of a Woman
Date 1913
MediumOil paint on wood
Dimensionssupport: 454 x 349 mm frame: 684 x 585 x 52 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Presented by Mr and Mrs Julian Lousada through the Art Fund 1925
Reference
N04090
Not on display

Catalogue entry

N04090 HEAD OF A WOMAN 1913
 
Inscr. ‘Currie 1913’ t.r.
Oil on panel, 17 7/8×13 3/4 (43×35).
Presented by Mr and Mrs Julian G. Lousada through the National Art-Collections Fund 1925.
Coll: Purchased by Julian G. Lousada from the artist through the Chenil Gallery.
Exh: (?) Drawings by Augustus E. John, Paintings by Derwent Lees and other Works, Chenil Gallery, January 1914 (67), as ‘Head of a Girl’; Twentieth Century Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, May–June 1914 (333), as ‘Head of a Woman’, lent by Julian G. Lousada.
Repr: N.A.C.F. Report 1925, 1926, p.36; Randolph Schwabe, ‘Reminiscences of Fellow Students’ in Burlington Magazine, LXXXII, 1943, pl.2, facing p.9.

The sitter has not been identified, but an indirect clue to her identity may be found in an account of the artist's ménage written by Sir Michael Sadler and published in Michael Sadleir's Michael Ernest Sadler, a Memoir by his Son, 1949, p.253. Late in 1913, when Currie was living with Miss Dolly Henry at Hampstead, Dolly's dark-haired Irish cousin Mary came to stay ‘in a status between guest and servant’. It is just possible that she sat for her portrait, since this painting, which is dated 1913, shows a dark-haired girl, of slightly peasant-like Celtic features, whose intense expression fits Sir Michael's description of cousin Mary… (read more)

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