- Sir Gerald Kelly 1879–1972
- Oil paint on canvas
- Support: 1270 x 1016 mm
- Presented by Francis Howard through the National Loan Exhibitions Committee 1914
N03001 MA SI GYAW, POSE IV 1909–14
Inscr. ‘Kelly’ b.r.
Canvas, original size 33×25 1/2 (84×65); lined and enlarged to 50×40 (127×101·5).
Presented by Francis Howard through the National Loan Exhibitions Committee 1914.
Coll: Purchased at the R.A. by Francis Howard.
Exh: R.A., 1914 (157), as ‘Ma Si Gyan: dancer’; International Society, autumn 1914 (among works purchased for presentation to the Tate Gallery, p.56); R.A. Diploma Gallery, October–December 1957 (149).
The head and shoulders were painted in six sittings at Mandalay in 1909. Ma Si Gyaw was one of two dancers who posed regularly to the artist and he painted her about thirty-six times. The full title in his own records is ‘Ma Si Gyaw (Pose IV) Burmese Dancer, No.1, B. f. 38’. In 1910 the canvas was enlarged. The skirt was painted in London in 1913. Later he added the hands from a model, Reyes, in Seville. The background was repainted and simplified in 1914 and the lacquer box was added. The picture was enlarged not for any aesthetic reason but simply to fit an old Spanish frame which the artist had bought cheap. In 1958 Sir Gerald requested the Trustees to have the picture cut down to its original size, but this was refused.
After his return from Burma Kelly began an ambitious composition of Burmese dancers which was exhibited at the R.A. Diploma Gallery in 1957 (150) as ‘Yein Pwé: Pagan (B.f. 72)’.
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I