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Gilman painted a series of portraits of his mother, to whom he was very close. This one was probably painted at the Rectory in Snargate, where his father was Vicar. The decorative wallpaper in the background is used by Gilman as a contrast to his painting of the figure, and such papers often feature prominently in his work. At the small art school he opened with Ginner in 1916, Gilman would habitually set models in front of a screen covered with boldly-patterned wallpaper.

September 2004