Frederick Etchells

The Big Girl


Frederick Etchells 1886–1973
Tempera on board
Support: 749 x 629 mm
frame: 888 x 760 x 57 mm
Purchased 1958

Not on display

Display caption

Spending time in Paris, Etchells was well acquainted with the Continental avant-garde, and was on friendly terms with Picasso, Braque and Modigliani. In London he formed a friendship with Roger Fry and through him other members of the Bloomsbury Group. Later he gravitated towards Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists. Both Etchells’s sister Jessie and Madge Pulsford modelled for this painting, so it is not a formal portrait but rather a study in mood and style. The broken touches of paint and soft, Fauve-like colouring show how close Etchell’s work was to Duncan Grant’s at this time.

Gallery label, February 2010

Catalogue entry

T00192 THE BIG GIRL c. 1912
Inscr. ‘F E’ b.r.
Tempera (or oil) on strawboard, 29 1/2×24 3/4 (75×63).
Presented by Miss Madge Pulsford 1958.

Miss Madge Pulsford wrote (18 May 1958): ‘I should say it was painted in 1912 and was exhibited at one of Roger Fry's exhibitions of the Younger Artists at the Alpine Club Gallery, I think there were two and that this painting was in the first of them [catalogues have not been traced]. As far as I know it was not exhibited again but given by Etchells to my mother soon after. It is not a portrait of any one person but painted from life partly with his sister Jessie Etchells as sitter and partly from me. The original frame was similar to the present one but was painted chequer board white and the grey-mauve-blue tone of the present one. Four squares to the width of the frame or perhaps five.’

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I


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