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N04705 SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN TO COME UNTO ME 1913
Inscr. ‘M. Sargant Florence 1913’ b.r.
Charcoal and body-colour heightened with white on paper stretched on canvas, 48 1/4×90 (122·5×229).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1932.
Exh: N.E.A.C., June–July 1914 (188); (?) N.E.A.C. Retrospective Exhibition, January–February 1925 (225); Venice Biennale, 1930 (British Pavilion, 198); R.A., 1933 (733).
The cartoon for one of the frescoes for the Hall of Bournville School, painted by the artist between 1912 and 1914. The commission was originally given to Mary Creighton, daughter of the Bishop of London, and Mrs Florence was asked for technical advice. Eventually she carried out seven of the paintings. Her subjects, in addition to N04705 and N04706, are ‘The Baptism’, ‘The Widow's Mite’, ‘Seek and Find’, ‘My Brethren’ and ‘The Nativity’. Mary Creighton did the other seven. The scheme was left incomplete owing to the outbreak of war. The paintings are situated high up on the walls and have not been photographed. As the panels are rather long Mrs Florence decided to divide them vertically into two or three sections by means of architectural devices. The introduction of foreground figures, seen from the back and looking inward as in N04706, is characteristic of her method of composition. A number of sketches and drawings for N04705 and N04706 belong to the artist's son and daughter, and one of these may have been the work exhibited at the N.E.A.C. in 1925.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I