Catalogue entry

N03189 THE DOLL'S HOUSE 1899

Not inscribed.
Canvas, 35×24 (89×61).
Presented by Charles L. Rutherston 1917.
Coll: Purchased from the artist by his brother C. L. Rutherston 1900.
Exh: In London, 1899 (no record); International Exhibition, Paris, 1900 (British Pavilion, 225); International Exhibition, Glasgow, 1901 (Fine Art, 432); Galerie Eduard Schutte, Berlin, January 1902 (3); N.E.A.C., April–May 1903 (57); Twenty Years of British Art, Whitechapel Art Gallery, May–June 1910 (532); Bradford, June 1910 (15); Tate Gallery, May–June 1950 (17).
Lit: Frank Rutter, Some Contemporary Artists, 1922, pp.88–9; Wellington, 1923, pp.24–5, repr. pl.3; Men and Memories, I, 1931, pp.349, 367, repr. facing p.346; Augustus John in exh. cat., Tate Gallery, May–June 1950, p.6; Speaight, 1962, pp.133–4, repr. p.49.
Repr: Tate Gallery Illustrations, British School, 1938, p.93; Picture Post, 11 March 1939 (in colour); John Rothenstein, The Tate Gallery, 1962, p.251.

Augustus John and the artist's wife posed for the picture; it was painted at Vattetot in the summer of 1899 where the artist spent his honeymoon after his marriage to Alice Knewstub. In Men and Memories, I, p.56, he records that he first heard of Ibsen from Conder in Paris and later (p.210) states: ‘We were all mesmerised by Ibsen in those days’. The picture expresses the tension of Act III of The Doll's House when Mrs Linden and Krogstad are listening for the end of the dance upstairs.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II