Sybil Margaret Maude (1873-1963)

Artist Name Sybil Margaret Maude (1873-1963)
Title Portrait of Olive Mary Stone with Saffron Bun
Description This lovely British Edwardian Impressionist portrait oil painting is by female artist Sybil Maude. Painted circa 1905 the painting is a charming seated portrait of a young Cornish girl holding a saffron bun, a traditional Cornish pastry. The sitter is Olive Mary Stone who lived on Cranken Farm New Mill, near Penzance, Cornwall with her parents William and Jane and siblings Emma, John and George. Information from the sitter's family tells us that Olive was about 5 or 6 when the picture was painted and the artist about 23. it is not known if Sybil was on holiday in Cornwall or attending painting classes with one of the Newlyn School artists such as Stanhope Forbes, who her style is reminiscent of, when she was asked to paint Olive. Apparently Olive was originally holding an apple but ate that so was given a saffron bun instead. Sybil stayed in touch with Olive, sending her letters and presents from around the world. It is a lovely sympathetic Impressionist oil painting with wonderful light and shadows on Olive's dress, her face beautifully illuminated. A very sweet painting by a talented female artist.

It is thought that saffron was introduced to England in the fourteenth century. The Cornish traded their tin for Spanish saffron. It is then thought to have been grown in England around Bude. Hence the beautiful Cornish saffron bread and buns.
 
Provenance Family Descent. A letter re the painting and sitter from Olive's great nephew dated 1994. David Lays auction 1994
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 20 x 24 inches
Frame Housed in a fine gilded Watts late Victorian period frame, 33 inches by 29 inches and in good condition.
Condition Good condition.
Biography Sybil Margaret Maude (1878-1963) was a portrait and landscape artist who exhibited from 1909-25. She has adresses in Eastbourne in 1909 and Finchampstead, Berks in 1924. She was born in Brompton South Kensington, London, the daughter of Ashley Henry Maude and Emma Constance Henry who came from a wealthy background. Her siblings were Edith, Dorothea and Frances. However her mother died at the age of 39, necessitating that the four girls live with her maternal grandfather in Hampshire. He had many servants and was deputy administrator for the Isle of Wight, so Sybil lived the life of a cultured young woman which included painting. She never married and died a wealthy woman on 26 August 1963 aged 85 in a nursing home in Bournmouth.
 
Exhibited: Royal Hibernian Academy 2, Society of Women Artists 4, Walker's Gallery, London 80.
Price £5500
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