N04859 Girl with Clasped Hands 1931
Inscribed 'Ernst Leyden 31' b.l. and 'La | MADONNA | DE Euguaria | 16 mei 1931.' on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 28 5/8 x 23 3/4 (73 x 60.5)
Purchased from the artist (Grant-in-Aid 'T' Fund) 1937
Exh: Ernst Leyden, Kunsthandel Esher Surrey, The Hague, December 1931 (no catalogue traced); Schilderijen en Teekeningen door Karin Leyden en Ernst Leyden, Voor de Kunst, Utrecht, February-March 1933 (27 as 'Girl with a Red Shawl' or 30 as 'Girl with Clasped Hands'); XIX Biennale, Venice, May-October 1934 (Holland 39) as 'Ragazza'
Repr: Bulletin Internationale Kunst, No.1, 1931, n.p. as 'Girl with Shawl'; Emporium, LXXIX, 1934, p.404
This picture was purchased under the title 'Fille aux Mains Jointes' (Girl with Clasped Hands), but was reproduced in 1931 with the title 'Girl with Shawl' and is inscribed on the back 'La Madonna de Euguaria'.
The artist said that it was a portrait of his wife Karin van Leyden and was painted at Eugaria (sic), a small village in Portugal between Sintra and Colares where he had rented a house. It is the only painting remaining of this period as it was in some exhibition at the moment his London studio in Charlotte Street burned down during the night of 16 May 1935. He had gathered together the best paintings done in Portugal for an exhibition to open at the Wertheim Gallery, London, later that month (letters of 12 August 1953 and 29 September 1969).
Mrs van Leyden, who was born in Berlin in 1908, studied painting at the Technical School in Cologne under Thorn Prikker and Richard Seewald. She executed several large mural paintings in Hatherop Castle, Fairford, Gloucestershire, between 1935 and 1939, and subsequently collaborated with her husband on numerous murals, mainly in the United States. The Leicester Galleries held an exhibition of her paintings and drawings in London in 1937, and she has also had various one-woman exhibitions in Paris and New York.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.433-4, reproduced p.433