T02081 PORTRAIT OF MRS. LILIAN KENNETT 1976
Inscribed ‘Leonard McComb/June 3 1976/LM’ (monogram) b.r.
Pencil and watercolour, 31 7/8 × 21 5/8 (81.0 × 55.0)
Purchased from the artist (Gytha Trust) 1976
Exh: The Human Clay: An Exhibition Selected by R. B. Kitaj, Hayward Gallery, August 1976 (not in catalogue)
Lit: ‘How Lilian moved into the Tate’, Oxford Mail, 18 October 1976, p.7 repr.
Mrs Kennett (1913–1977), a friend of Leonard McComb and his wife, agreed to pose for the drawing and sat every day for six weeks in the artist's studio in Brixton. Of the drawing the artist wrote: 'I spent two hours after each sitting working on the drawing. In the drawing I tried to portray the unique character of the sitter. The pose was a natural position of Mrs Kennett.
'The drawing works at a complexity of levels
1. The internal energies of the forms
2. the way in which they occupy space
3. the combination of a monochromatic figure against a coloured starred Persian carpet
'The last mentioned was one of the key problems of the portrait.
‘The work was built up by a process of thin layers of washes of colour superimposed over one another’ (letter from the artist dated 25 October 1976).
The Tate Gallery 1976-8: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1979