N03803 MRS RAYNES 1922
Canvas, 27×22 (68·5×56).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1922.
Exh: N.E.A.C., June–July 1922 (23); Tate Gallery, April–July 1929 (38); National Gallery, June–August 1943 (52); Tate Gallery, November–December 1960 (74).
Lit: MacColl, 1945, pp.13, 58–61, 104, 219, repr. pl.21.
Repr: Artwork, No.17, 1929, p.11; Ironside, 1943, pl.65; Sir John Rothenstein, British Art since 1900, 1962, pl.8.
Margaret Jones (‘Jane’), afterwards Mrs Raynes, was a young Welshwoman who entered the Steer family's service as children's nurse at the time the artist was born. After her marriage she left the family but returned on the death of her husband, when she first acted as cook to Steer's mother until 1898, and then became housekeeper to the artist. She died in 1929 aged ninety-one. It was she who presented the two-year-old Steer with a box of watercolours. MacColl wrote (op. cit., p.104) of this portrait that ‘the background was part of the memorial, being that of her habitual station as an invalid’. It was painted in 1922 at Steer's house in Cheyne Walk. MacColl also notes in his catalogue (ibid., p.219) that the picture was exhibited at the Royal Academy in the winter of 1922. Several Chantrey purchases were hung in the R.A. summer exhibition, 1922, but not listed (information from Mr Sidney Hutchison). A photograph of Mrs Raynes, when younger, is reproduced by MacColl (ibid., pl.9).
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II