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
On display at Tate Britain
Room: 1900

Display caption

Mary Sargant Florence painted her children Philip (born 1890) and Alix (born 1892) engrossed in their game, with immediacy devoid of any sentimentality. The flat treatment of the surface, heightened by the matt finish of the egg tempera, focuses attention on the formal aspect and contrasted colours of the picture rather than on the children’s psychology. A committed feminist, Sargant Florence brought up her children in an unconventional manner, encouraging their artistic talents. Alix later married James Strachey, brother of Lytton. She became a respected psychoanalyst, and Philip a celebrated economist.

October 2013

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