N04088 CHLOë BOUGHTON-LEIGH c. 1907
Canvas, 23×15 (58·5×38). The canvas has been enlarged by a strip of wood at the bottom; the original height of the canvas was 22 1/4 (56·5).
Purchased from the sitter through the N.E.A.C. (Clarke Fund) 1925.
Exh: N.E.A.C., spring 1908 (78); N.E.A.C., Retrospective Exhibition, January–February 1925 (76); Arts Council, Ethel Walker, Frances Hodgkins, Gwen John, Tate Gallery, May–June 1952 (114, repr. pl.6).
Lit: M. G. C[ompton], ‘Gwen John’ in Leeds Art Calendar, VIII, No.29, 1955, p.22.
Repr: Sir Joseph Duveen, Thirty Years of British Art, 1930, p.109; Tate Gallery Illustrations, British School, 1938, p.101, as ‘Portrait’; Burlington Magazine,LXXXI, 1942, p.240, pl.3b.
Ellen Theodosia Boughton-Leigh (1868–1947), known by her family as Chloë, was, like Gwen John, a Catholic convert and latterly she and her sister Maude (q.v.) lived on Canvey Island. Maude was Gwen John's friend; both had studied at the Slade and probably met in Paris. The sisters were daughters of Edward Ward-Boughton-Leigh of Brownsover Hall, Warwickshire. Other portraits of Chloë are in Birmingham, known as ‘A Woman holding a Flower’ (repr. One Hundred Oil Paintings, 1952, p.24), and at Leeds (see Compton, op. cit.). A portrait almost identical to the latter was in the John Quinn Collection, New York, sold American Art Association, New York, 10 February 1927 (344; repr. Forbes Watson (ed.), The John Quinn Collection, New York, 1926, p.147). In all these portraits she is wearing the same locket as in No.4088.
That the Tate Gallery picture was the one exhibited at the N.E.A.C. in 1908 is confirmed by a pencil sketch in the Gallery's copy of the exhibition catalogue.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I