Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972)

Artist Name Sir Gerald Festus Kelly (1879-1972)
Title Portrait of a Lady Arranging Flowers
Description This superb British portrait oil painting is attributed to circle of Festus Kelly. Painted circa 1940 it is a half length portrait of an elegant lady in a light blue dress, pearls and her dark hair up behind her head.  She is arranging gorgeous orange chrysanthemums in a vase and is turning to gaze at the artist/viewer with a slight smile. She is against a simple background which makes her really standout. The palette of blue and orange is very vibrant. The sitter is unknown but she bears an uncanny resemblance to Wallace Simpson! This is a lovely portrait really capturing the stylish glamour of the 1940's.
Provenance Yorkshire estate. 
Medium Oil on Canvas
Size 30 x 40 inches
Frame Housed in an ornate gilt frame, 48 inches by 38 inches and in good condition.
Condition Good condition.
Biography Sir Gerald Festus Kelly P.R.A. (9 April 1879 – 5 January 1972) was a British painter best known for his portraits. Gerald Kelly was born in London, educated at Eton College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge and later lived and studied art in Paris. James McNeill Whistler was an early influence. Kelly travelled much, visiting Spain, America, South Africa and Burma. In 1920 he married Lilian Ryan, who became his model for a celebrated series of portraits. These were exhibited under the title Jane, followed by a roman numeral that corresponded to the year of exhibition. Other sitters included T. S. Eliot, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Somerset Maugham, whom he painted eighteen times. Maugham, a lifelong friend of Kelly, wrote an introduction to a catalogue (1950) of an exhibition of Kelly's work. Maugham regularly portrayed Kelly in his works, as Lionel Hillier in Cakes and Ale, as Frederick Lawson in Of Human Bondage and as O'Malley in His Excellency presenting him as "the young Irish painter called O'Malley", and dedicating Ashenden to him. He became a favourite painter of the Royal Family. He was elected to the Royal Academy in 1930, was the Academy's keeper 1943-45 and President, 1949-54. Kelly held a number of official positions, such as his membership of the Royal Fine Arts Commission, 1938-43, and was knighted in 1945. The artist John Napper worked as his assistant.
Kelly died in Exmouth in 1972. He is represented in many public collections, including the Tate Gallery, which holds seven works.
Price £3000
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