Violet, Duchess of Rutland



Marion Margaret Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland (née Lindsay; 7 March 1856 – 22 December 1937) was a British artist and noblewoman. A granddaughter of the 24th Earl of Crawford, she married Henry Manners in 1882. She was styled the Marchioness of Granby from 1888 to 1906, when Manners succeeded as Duke of Rutland. She had five children, including the 9th Duke of Rutland and the socialite Lady Diana Cooper.

Though she had no formal training as an artist, the Duchess painted portraits of her social circle. Many of her works were displayed at various major art exhibits in the UK, including the Grosvenor Gallery, the Royal Academy of Arts, and the New Gallery. Violet was also a prominent member of The Souls, an aristocratic social circle that favoured intellectual pursuits and avant-garde artistic tastes. Known for her beauty, she was the subject of many paintings. Watts Gallery Trust acquired a beautiful Watts portrait of her in Dec 2016 (Art Fund, the ACE/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, and donors). Inspired by the acquisition, John Julius Norwich (a prominent historian and Violet's grandson) donated over 40 of Violet's own drawings, including a self-portrait and a portrait of Harry Cust. She became engaged in sculpting after the death of her elder son Robert in 1894.

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