N04272 THE TOILET OF VENUS 1898
Inscr. ‘P. W. Steer 1898’ b.l.
Canvas, 100 1/2×72 1/4 (255·5×183·5).
Presented by Frank Lycett Green 1927.
Coll: Purchased by Frank Lycett Green from the Goupil Gallery 1924.
Exh: Goupil Gallery, March–April 1924 (55); Tate Gallery, November–December 1960 (37).
Repr: Ironside, 1943, pl.30; Hesketh Hubbard, A Hundred Years of British Painting 1851–1951, 1951, pl.74.
The idea for this painting appears to have been in Steer's mind since 1897, as a study for the negro page (30×25 in.) dates from that year. In 1933 this study was bought by R. E. A. Wilson at Sotheby's, and either this or another study of the page (19×24 1/2 in.) belonging to Mrs Francis Evans in 1945 may be the same painting as that now in the collection of Mr McCormick-Goodhart of Alexandria, near Washington, D.C. The Duchess of Roxburghe possessed in 1943 a study for the kneeling and sitting putti (repr. Ironside, op. cit., pl.29). ‘The Toilet of Venus’ is the largest and most elaborate of all Steer's subject pieces, but appears to be not completely finished.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II