Janet Cree

The Oriental Portrait


Not on display

Janet Cree 1910–1992
Tempera on canvas
Support: 305 × 225 mm
frame: 501 × 410 × 100 mm
Presented by the Trustees of the Chantrey Bequest 1933

Display caption

Born in London, the daughter of a barrister and a painter, Janet Cree attended the Byam Shaw School of Art from 1928 to 1933. In her postgraduate year there, Cree painted this work, which was shown in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and bought for the Tate Gallery by the Chantrey Bequest Trustees. The sitter was a professional model and the portrait is cast in the format of an Italian fifteenth-century picture, where the figure is seen and behind a low stone sill. Cree gave up painting in the late 1930s to concentrate on her family, but resumed her career again in 1967, showing in several exhibitions in London and Sussex.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

Inscr. on cartouche ‘Johanneta Cree. pinxit mcmxxxii’ b.c.
Tempera on canvas mounted on plywood, 12×8 7/8 (30·5×22·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1933.
Exh: R.A., 1933 (883).

The portrait was painted when the artist was still a student at the Byam Shaw School, where the sitter was a professional model. It is conceived in the manner of an Italian mid-Quattrocento head and shoulders portrait against a plain background with a low stone sill set in front of the figure along the bottom edge of the canvas.

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


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