Mary Sargant Florence
Children at Chess c.1903

Artwork details

Children at Chess
Date c.1903
Medium Tempera on wood
Dimensions Support: 902 x 400 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1949
Not on display

Display caption

Mary Sargant Florence painted her children Philip (aged 13) and Alix (nine) engrossed in their game. The interlocking composition excludes the viewer and there is no sentimentality. The flat treatment of the paint surface, heightened by the matt finish of the egg tempera, focuses attention on the bold pattern of line and contrasted colours. A committed feminist, Sargant Florence brought up her children in an unconventional manner, encouraging their artistic talents. Alix later became a respected psychoanalyst, and Philip a celebrated economist.

February 2016

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