N05349 JAMES STEPHENS 1941
Canvas, 30 1/4×25 1/4 (77×64).
Presented by Miss Flora Russell through the National Art-Collections Fund 1942.
Coll: Purchased by Miss Russell from the artist for presentation.
Exh: Tate Gallery, May–June 1950 (58).
Lit: Anon., ‘Sir William Rothenstein’ in Studio, CXXIII, 1942, p.112, repr. p.113 (in colour).
James Stephens (1882–1950), the Irish writer, is best known for his book The Crock of Gold 1912. The artist recalls their first meeting in Ireland c. 1921–2, when Stephens was a Sinn Feiner (Since Fifty, 1939, p.85). A number of drawings of the sitter exist, dating from that period. This portrait is one of the last to be completed before the artist's final illness.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II