Roy de Maistre 1894–1968
T01092 MARRIAGE c.1936
Inscribed ‘R de Maistre’, b.l., and again, with artist's address and the dimensions, on reverse.
Canvas, 60×45 (152·5×114·5).
Presented by Sir John Rothenstein through the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1968.
Coll: Bequeathed by the artist to Sir John Rothenstein.
Exh: Whitechapel Art Gallery, May–June 1960 (42), as ‘Mariage’; Art in Britain 1930–40, Marlborough Fine Art, March–April 1965 (68).
Repr: T01092 appears in a photograph of the artist in his studio, in Snowdon, Robertson, Russell, Private View, 1965, p. 184.
Mrs Celia Broadbent, one of de Maistre's executors, remembers being shown by the artist, in front of T01092, a portrait photograph taken after a royal marriage, torn from an English newspaper or magazine, on which this painting is based. The figures and their positions were readily recognisable as based on the photograph, but de Maistre had altered or invented various details, for example in the clothes. Mrs Broadbent and several other of de Maistre's friends independently told the compiler that their strong recollection was of the marriage being that of the present Queen of the Netherlands, when Crown Princess, though they knew of no reason why de Maistre would have been interested in this or any other royal marriage, in particular, beyond the interest of the photographic group itself and its composition. (Mrs Broadbent has a newspaper photograph of a football scene which had little thematic interest to de Maistre but which he used as the basis for another painting.)
T01092 was dated 1936 on both occasions when exhibited in the artist's lifetime. The Dutch royal marriage took place on 7 January 1937. An official portrait photograph of the bride and groom provided by the Royal Archives of the Netherlands in the Hague after seeing a photograph of T01092, and described by them as ‘the official photograph’ does not correspond to the details either of costume or of posture in the painting (both bride and groom are standing).
The artist's executors do not know the whereabouts either of the photograph from which T01092 was painted or of a smaller version entitled ‘Mariage’ (oil on canvas, 29 1/2×21 1/2 inches) lent by de Maistre to British Art and the Modern Movement 1930–40, at the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, Oct.–Nov. 1962 (37, repr.).
The Tate Gallery: Acquisitions 1968-9, London 1969