T00194 THEODORE POWYS c. 1932
Inscr. ‘John’ c.r.
Canvas, 24 1/4×20 1/4 (61·5×51·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1958.
Exh: R.A., 1958 (74).
Repr: Royal Academy Illustrated, 1958, p.11.
Theodore Francis Powys (1876–1953), writer, spent most of his life in seclusion in Dorset. His best-known books are Soliloquies of a Hermit, The Left Leg and Mr Weston's Good Wine. He was the brother of John Cowper and of Llewelyn Powys. Other members of the family were also distinguished in art and literature.
The artist wrote (23 August 1958): ‘I painted Theodore Powys at his Dorset home. I had been introduced to him by Colonel Lawrence. I had one sitting only though I had intended to continue the work; but on preparing to revisit my sitter, I decided I had ruined the picture by some unfortunate touches in the meanwhile & put the canvas away. Lately however I came across it in a cellar, and managed to remove the ill considered additions & restored it to its original condition. I cannot remember the date of the painting except that it took place perhaps two or three years before his death. I had the greatest regard for Theodore Powys both as a writer and as a man…