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A student at the Euston Road School, Lawrence Gowing attended throughout its existence. This later portrait of Mrs Ellen Roberts, the Gowings' cleaning lady, was painted at their home in Paultons Square, Chelsea. In 1945 the Daily Sketch reported the sitter's comments: 'It's me, isn't it? Perhaps in another hundred years I will be hanging in a national museum'. In 1983 Sir Lawrence described Mrs Roberts as 'gaunt and gracious'. He also recalled how, when studying the work of Masaccio at that time, he 'realised that not only the transverse lighting but the unidealised sympathy and the visual authenticity that I prized in painting were all his invention'.

August 2004