N05259 AN OLD LADY 1899
Canvas, 26 3/4×22 (68×56).
Purchased from the Leger Galleries (Knapping Fund) 1941.
Coll: Arthur Clifton; Mrs Clifton, who sold it to Agnew's; Leger Galleries.
Lit: John, 1952, p.147.
Repr: Rothenstein, 1944, pl.4; Allan Gwynne-Jones, Portrait Painters, 1950, pl.133.
This portrait, at different times known as ‘John's Aunt’, ‘John's Mother’ and ‘John's Grandmother’, was John's first commission in portraiture. The fee was fixed at forty pounds, half of which was paid in advance. Because John got bored with his subject and because the old lady became restless the artist left it unfinished and the lady got her portrait for half price. The artist could not remember the name of the subject, and Mrs Clifton, who had the picture in her possession for many years, thinks that the title ‘John's Landlady’ would be more correct.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I