Dod Procter



In Tate Modern

Dod Procter 1892–1972
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 762 × 1524 mm
frame: 1072 × 1832 × 73 mm
Presented by the Daily Mail 1927

Display caption

  1. In 1922, Procter began to paint a series of simple, monumental portraits of young women that she knew. Emphasising the fall of light across the figures, Proctor gave them a powerful presence. This painting features Cissie Barnes, the sixteen-year-old daughter of a fisherman from Newlyn in Cornwall. This village was home to Procter for most of her working life. This painting was voted 'Picture of the Year' at the 1927 Summer Exhibition, a yearly show at the Royal Academy in London. It was bought for the nation by the Daily Mail newspaper. The popularity of the painting led to its being displayed in New York, followed by a tour of Britain.

Gallery label, August 2020

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Catalogue entry

N04270 MORNING 1926

Inscr. ‘Dod Procter 1926’ b.r.
Canvas, 30×60 (76×152·5).
Presented by the Daily Mail 1927.
Exh: R.A., 1927 (735).
Lit: Frank Rutter, Sunday Times, 1 May 1927; Mary Chamot, ‘Ernest and Dod Procter’ in Apollo, VI, 1927, pp.251–2; Dame Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint, 1936, pp.284–5.
Repr: Royal Academy Illustrated, 1927, p.85; Studio, XCIII, 1927, p.423; Hesketh Hubbard, A Hundred Years of British Painting 1851–1951, 1951, pl.44.

‘Morning’ received almost unanimous praise from the art critics on the opening of the R.A. and was acclaimed ‘the picture of the year’. Immediately following the announcement of the proposed gift to the nation on 3 May 1927 numerous applications poured into the Daily Mail from provincial galleries eager to obtain the loan of the picture.

The model, sixteen-year-old Miss Cissie Barnes, daughter of a fish merchant of Newlyn, posed for Mrs Procter almost every day for five weeks (Daily Mail report, 4 May 1927). A variation on the same theme is ‘Sleeping Girl’, which was exhibited at the Leicester Galleries in December 1927 (13; repr. Apollo, VI, 1927, p.252), but this only shows the head and arms of the model. Miss Cissie Barnes was also model for a number of other paintings by Dod Procter.

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

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