T00138 EDWARD GROVE 1940
Inscr. ‘John’ t.r.
Canvas, 24×16 (61×40·5).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1957.
Exh: R.A., 1957 (89).
Repr: Royal Academy Illustrated, 1957, p.29.
Edward Grove of Fethard, County Tipperary, first met the artist in 1919, and John had several shots at painting him, one of which he owns. In 1935 he married Euphemia Lamb (see Epstein, N03187). He wrote (21 October 1957): ‘The portrait was painted during the late summer of 1940. I went down to Fryern for about a week & sat for Augustus daily. We had met in London the week before & he insisted on my coming down to be painted - I had just finished my harvest and was the colour of a brown boot. He had some difficulty with the portrait, I remember, as the nightly consumption of gin at Fryern in those days was quite considerable & my complexion during the week slowly changed from brown to green which annoyed him very much. I thought the portrait had gone into discard as I never saw it again until it appeared in the Royal Academy. Whether he did any subsequent work on it I don't know. It certainly now seems a much more finished portrait than I remember in 1940.’
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I