Walter Richard Sickert

Miss Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies as Isabella of France

1932

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Artist
Walter Richard Sickert 1860–1942
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2451 × 921 mm
frame: 2705 × 1181 × 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the Art Fund, the Contemporary Art Society and C. Frank Stoop through the Contemporary Art Society 1932
Reference
N04673

Display caption

Sickert loved the theatre and became a friend of the actress Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies after writing her a fan letter in 1932. This painting shows her in the role of Queen Isabella of France in Christopher Marlowe’s 16th-century play Edward II. The name ‘La Louve’ means ‘she-wolf’, a hostile title given to the historical Isabella. The production had taken place nine years earlier, and Sickert painted this picture from a small photograph, taken by Bertram Park, of the actress on stage. The painting was an immediate success and the Daily Mail described it as ‘Mr Sickert’s Best Work’.

Gallery label, September 2016

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