Completed Dress and Textiles, Portraits: British 20th C, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 91 Further information sought on 'Lady in a Green Dress' by George Henry

Topic: Subject or sitter

Can more be found about the identity of this sitter?

Could she be the subject of other paintings by George Henry on Art UK?

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. The information discovered and merged into a biography for Art UK significantly increases what was known of George Henry’s life and work. Although it has not been possible to identify the sitter, we have a record of when and where the painting was exhibited and reviewed. She is very likely to be the same woman who appears in George Henry’s paintings 'The Paisley Shawl' (Paisley Museum and Art Gallery) and 'Portrait of an Unknown Woman' (McLean Museum and Art Gallery).

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


What a lovely painting! The three paintings highlighted surely all have the same woman as the model. I suspect that none of the titles under which these paintings are now known was that given by George Henry. It is possible that one of the two paintings showing a woman with a fan may be (unsurprisingly) 'Woman with a fan' exhibit number 2 at the Royal Academy in 1924. Unfortunately there is no image of it in RA Illustrated for that year. Does the collection have a date or label for 'Lady in a green dress'? It looks mid 1920s to me. I'll dig into my catalogues of the period to see whether I can offer some help in the identification of the model. She is likely either to be a family member of Henry, a friend or a professional model, and not a commissioning client.

Martin Hopkinson,

Can anyone identify the painting behind her which might help to identify the sitter?

Hat Jodelka,

A wild guess, but could she be an artist's model & could they have been painted for commercial use?

Martin Hopkinson,

Are there any photographs of female members of the Henry family, or of the family of the donor of this picture? Was the donor in any way related to the Henry family?
The fact that there are at least three portraits of the same sitter of the same period favour the idea that the sitter was a favourite model, if she cannot be identified as a member of the artist's family or as a very close friend indeed of Henry. In the 1920s other Scottish portrait painters such as Stanley Cursiter sometimes exhibited portraits of favourite models repeatedly without any identification of their identity in the titles
It might be worth keeping an eye out for pictures by other artists using this sitter.

Al Brown,

The painting behind her is Rembrandt's Agatha Bas in the Royal Collection

Betty Elzea,

I agree with Hat. The picture is meant to be anonymous. Of course we don't know if the artist's wife, or family member, was his regular model, rather than a paid model. The piece of furniture behind the figure looks very like the furniture in 'The Paisley Shawl'. This painting is the best of the 3 shown, I think.

Lou Taylor, Dress and Textiles,

Judging by the hair style, the style of dress and the loose fur coat, I would date this to around 1920-22.

Very little information is readily available about George Henry's personal life and it's not clear whether he married. I wonder, however, if the model in these three pictures could be his wife (or partner)? In 1920-22 Henry would have been in his very early sixties, while the model is obviously much younger, but a parallel could be drawn with fellow 'Glasgow Boy' John Lavery whose (second) wife Hazel, thirty years his junior, was the subject of many of her husband's paintings.

Patty Macsisak,

The woman in "The Paisley Shawl" and "Portrait of an Unknown Woman" bear a close resemblance to "Portrait of a Woman" (1922).

"Through the Woods" (1891) depicts two girls, one with black hair and one with reddish blond hair. These girls often figure in his paintings and may be close family members.

"Picking Bluebells", "A September Day" and "The Reading"may depict the older woman in "Portrait of a Woman" with the two girls mentioned above.

If there is a resemblance then perhaps the sitter in the portrait of 1922 is the mother of the model for 'Lady in a Green Dress' and the two related works. And just possibly it is this older woman who was the wife of George Henry, and closer in age to him (he became 64 in 1922). She wears a wedding ring and sits on a gold chair which seems to be the one also seen in 'The Paisley Shawl'. The model in the green dress picture would be the artist's daughter. I fear this is all rather speculative and wonder if our genealogist colleagues can shed light on Henry's family circumstances?

Malcolm Fowles,

Other paintings by Henry, besides those mentioned, show two girls, one raven-haired and one golden-haired, at a distance which makes comparison of other features infeasible. Some show the pair in the countryside, which suggests relatives (or one and a friend) more than models.

One of these - Two Girls in a Wood - is dated 1919, when Henry was 60 or 61.

This may narrow down genealogical searches. However, I'm finding it hard to work out where he lived from his twenties onwards.

Malcolm Fowles,

I am now getting an error message from the above link to The Athenaeum website, and moreover when I search for the artist I only get a list with "George Henry" forenames. That's junk American technology for you.

I can still find the painting by navigating from their home page to the "by tags" search, and searching for "pink dress". In the results, choose "Mary in the pink dress". You get a painting by Henry of unmistakeably the same woman, perhaps a bit younger. No date, as with many of Henry's works. Alternatively search in Google Images for "athenaeum pink dress"; she is about no 28 in my list of results.

When you scan all of Henry's works online, in Art UK and elsewhere, you'll soon realise that (a) he went through a phase with this style of portrait and (b) this sitter occurs a handful of times for certain, but anonymous except with the pink dress, and possibly numerous other times where there's a girl with black hair.

I have gathered together some information on George Henry. He was not married, had no children or brothers or sisters, and he lived a rather solitary life after moving from Scotland to London circa 1903. In view of this, I think we can rule out a family member as the model for this painting. His London studio was at 26 Glebe Place, Chelsea but Henry lived elsewhere in south west London, sometimes as a boarder taking a room in a family house.

Osmund Bullock,

Grant, I don’t think George Henry’s life in London was quite as solitary as you conclude. Not only that, but I have a theory as to who this lady (and/or the other sitters discussed) may just possibly be. I'll reveal more of that in another post.

First things first. Lou is spot on with her date estimate of circa 1920-22 for our portrait – it was in fact exhibited at the Glasgow Institute in September 1922. (Henry continued to exhibit regularly in Scotland after his move to London.) ‘The Scotsman’ of 30th Sept acknowledged the painting’s skill and effect, but found it “somewhat superficial” – see attachment. The NAL has the exhibition catalogue, so when I get a moment I’ll pop over to the V&A and find the work’s original title.

I can find no press mention of the others, though my search has not been exhaustive. Paisley’s 1924 ‘The Paisley Shawl’ & McLean’s ‘Unknown Woman’ (likely ‘Woman with a Fan’ exhib RA 1924) seem to date from the same time and certainly show the same person. Ours, which is two or three years earlier, is probably the same woman, too; but her thinner, paler lips make me slightly less certain.

‘Mary in the Pink Dress’ may also be her or a close relation – but it’s clearly much later, not earlier than the others. It is in fact dated, though the date is unclear at this resolution. It seems to be either 1929 or 1939, and from the *dress style I assume the latter – could Paisley confirm the date for us, please? And is the title actually on the back of the picture, or is it just information that came with it (however that was – there is no acquisition info)?

[*The style was to me surprising – at first glance it looks almost 1950s. But I’ve found all the different design elements, albeit separately, in some 1938 Paquin dress designs in the V&A’s collection. The very full skirt coming out from a natural waistline, the pleated shawl collar, the large artificial flower are all there – put together they seem to show that a date of 1939 is quite possible. See ]

EDIT: 1939 seems to be right – ‘The Scotsman’ of 3rd May describes one of Henry’s three works at that year’s RA summer exhibition as “a portrait of a girl in pink”. I’ll check the title at the NAL – it may be in that year’s ‘Royal Academy Illustrated’, too (at least one of his works is).

1 attachment

Osmund, This is all very helpful thanks. We have already raised the issue of the possible connection with 'Mary in the Pink Dress' as that painting titled then simply 'Portrait' was exhibited as #180 in the Royal Academy summer show in 1939. It was reproduced in the RA Pictures publication for 1939 at page 32. The collection has been requested if possible to advise as to the background to the fuller title of 'Mary in a Pink Dress'. Hopefully more to follow. What I do know is that the first named executor of George Henry's will, Sir Thomas Dunlop (second baronet), gifted certain of Henry's paintings in the 1940s to Scottish public collections, presumably at the late artist's behest. Sir Thomas was one of a group of collectors of Henry's work, many of whom were based in Scotland, and I think he and Henry became friendly. It is possible that Sir Thomas provided additional information as 'Portrait' isn't exactly that helpful as a title! It did cross my mind that Henry may have had a lady friend as the same figure does seem to appear in several of the paintings.

Osmund, I am intrigued as to the identity of the lady who was the model for this painting and potentially several others. Young women of similar appearance feature in exhibited works right up until the artist's death, for example the young model in The Connoisseur, which was exhibited at the Glasgow Institute in 1941 (not in a public collection as far as I am aware). These young ladies also feature in the 'Goodwood', Sussex series of paintings from the 1930s. In regard to this particular discussion, I think between you and Lou you have largely resolved the issue raised, subject to confirmation from the GI catalogue of 1922 that the title of the painting is indeed 'Lady in a Green Dress'. Incidentally those catalogues usually have an illustration of Henry's work for that year and it would be good fortune indeed if 'our' painting was illustrated therein. Subject to the views of the Group Leaders, one could continue research into the identity of the woman in the painting or bring the discussion to a close on the basis that we believe the exhibition history has been confirmed, as has the title, and we also have 1922 as the likely date, or thereabouts, of the painting.

Osmund Bullock,

Could we hold fire for little while, Grant, as I may just possibly have some solid information about the sitter(s) soon?

Along with the 1911 Census, the Kensington & Chelsea Electoral Registers happily enable us to construct a pretty complete picture of GH’s residence in London. In 1905, soon after his arrival from Scotland, he appears (as you mention) as the occupier of a studio at 26 Glebe Place, in the heart of artistic Chelsea; this was to remain his place of work until his death 38 years later. His immediate next-door neighbours there over the years included the sculptor Francis Derwent Wood (who lived in the Chelsea Arts Club nearby), George Augustus Holmes, George Washington Lambert (and his sculptor son Maurice), Alfred Egerton Cooper and Charles Cundall. Many of these (including GH himself) were also members of the Chelsea Arts Club, so I don’t think he wanted for friends or company.

Most of them just had a studio in Glebe Place and lived elsewhere, as did GH. In 1905 he took rooms at 89 Sydney Street, 5 or 10 minutes’ walk away, and there he remained for 22 years: his landlords and fellow occupiers of the house throughout were the Minty family. Jacob Minty was a retired policeman – originally an agricultural labourer from Wiltshire, but by 1871 a P.C. with the Met. He died in 1913, and thereafter it was his widow Emily Keziah (1857-1932) who was head of the household – also from a working-class rural background, she was raised in Somerset (though born in E. London). She was a close contemporary of GH’s, and is a possible candidate for the sitter in the “1922” (in fact 1921) ‘Portrait of a Woman’: . She would have been 64.

Osmund Bullock,

Also in the Minty household were a son William...and four daughters – Maria (1888-1974), Rachel (1890-1929), Hilda (1898-1979) and Simla Rose (1901-1982). Over the years they and GH must have become quite close – indeed they seem to have become his surrogate family. In around 1928 GH (who was 70) left to live in a house a few hundred yards away at 132 Fulham Road, and at much the same time Mrs Minty gave up Sydney St and joined him there, along with two of her daughters (Maria & Simla). She died four years later, but Maria and Simla remained at Fulham Rd with GH; and though Simla married the following year (1933), she, her husband and Maria (who never married) continued to live there with “Mr Henry”, as they called him, until his death. Indeed they were still all living in the house – perhaps, who knows, bequeathed to them by GH? – after the War and until 1953.

So it seems at least possible (though far from certain) that our sitter(s) may be found among the daughters of the Minty family. I have managed to track down a grandson of the daughters’ brother William, and just yesterday evening made contact with him. He is interested and keen to help, and is in touch with other grandchildren – and indeed with William’s daughter, though she is very elderly (96). I will send him images of the portraits shortly, and I hope we may soon have the answer as to whether or not the women could be his antecedents.

P.S. Grant, you don’t have images (or links to them) for any of the works featuring “young women of similar appearance” that you mentioned in your last post, do you? I will in any case do my best to get to the NAL to see the GI catalogue(s) this week.

This is very helpful Osmund. I think I was inaccurate in the use of the term 'solitary' but George Henry led a somewhat unconventional life for someone as successful as he was as an artist during his time in London in particular. He lost his father when he was only a very small child and although he had a studio in Glasgow he is recorded in the Scottish Censuses as living with his mother, and her brother James Fisher, at 4, Binnie Place, Calton, Glasgow up until the age of about 45 when he moved to London. I too found him in the 1911 Census records living as a lodger with the Minty family in Sydney Street. I also noted the Minty offspring and wondered about their connection, if any, to his subsequent paintings featuring young women, but I hadn't got anywhere near as far as you in establishing the ongoing link to the Mintys. The Fulham Road address is the one in which Henry was living at the time of his death. I visited the studio adjacent to George Henry's studio in Glebe Place a very long time ago and in those days the studios were vast spaces, all very Edwardian in feel, without any living accommodation. I think you are very probably right in suggesting that the Minty daughters are the models for a good number of the pictures. I wonder if they also accompanied him to the Goodwood area in the early 1930s as they could feature in those paintings too? I'll go through images I have of George Henry paintings and I'll post here ones which could possibly feature our model(s).

By chance I noticed that a portrait of George Henry, circa 1940, by T C Dugdale, is held in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland, Scottish National Portrait Gallery. For full details please access via the main Art UK site, under T C Dugdale, RA.

Edward Stone,

Here's the Art UK painting record for the portrait of George Henry by Thomas Cantrell Dugdale (1880–1952) which Grant refers to:

I have been spending some time putting together a photographic record of a large number of George Henry's paintings, in addition to those held on Art UK. This has thrown up some useful insights in regard to some of the Art UK paintings which I'll cover in another post at some point over the next week or two. The purpose of this post is to try to enlist some assistance in the checking the genealogy of the Henry family, especially whether or not Mr Henry ever married. I have searched both the Scottish and the English registers to no avail and concluded originally that he was unmarried. Perhaps Osmund will help me in this if he has the time! What has caused me to think again on this is my review of GH paintings from 1897 up to circa 1909 in which a woman much younger than GH appears with regularity in domestic settings, in fact rather grand settings and probably a house in west London. This has made me wonder whether Mr Henry bought or rented such a house when he came to London circa 1903. Attached please find (1) an image of a watercolour dated 1897 and titled The Engagement Ring depicting this lady. In the background there is a Henry painting of an Japanese subject from the early 1890s; and (2) an image of an oil painting circa I would think 1905/07 titled 'Portrait of the Artist's Wife', which measures 127 x 102 cm and was sold at Sotheby's in 1992. It is of course possible that the auctioneers did not know the correct title but it may be worth assuming just for now that it is correct. The same woman appears, I think, in 'Lady with Goldfish' held by Kirkcaldy Galleries and in several other paintings I have recorded. This is straying off the point of the original discussion but as there seems to be little published material in regard to George Henry after he left Glasgow I think it worthwhile to see whether we can build a more comprehensive record of his life, and his 20th century work, as he is a significant British artist. Osmund has very kindly set out Mr Henry's time as a lodger and later friend of the Minty family which began no later than 1911 (the census record). He may have been with them in Sydney Street a little earlier than that. I have thought since the start of this thread that is was a little unusual for a man of his standing to live in rather modest lodgings. Was the trigger for this the death of his wife or perhaps a separation? It was also around this time that his mother died. In regard to the Minty family I can find no record at present of any GH paintings bearing their names in the titles. That is not to say that they weren't his models from time to time.

As there have been no comments since 9 July 2017, I suggest we close this discussion. Lots of useful information about the artist has been uncovered, thank you to everyone for contributing. Regarding the identity of the woman and the date of the portrait, the findings can be summarised as follows:

‘Lady in a Green Dress’ was exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute in September 1922 at the 61st Annual Exhibition (it is referenced in a review of the exhibition in The Scotsman, 30 September 1922). The costume and hairstyle accord with this date. Henry moved from Scotland to London in around 1903 but continued to exhibit in Scotland.

The identity of the subject is not known but is very likely to be the same woman who appears in George Henry’s paintings 'The Paisley Shawl' (Paisley Museum and Art Gallery, and 'Portrait of an Unknown Woman' (McLean Museum and Art Gallery, (The latter was exhibited as 'Woman with a Fan' at the Royal Academy in 1924.) It is possible that she was an artist’s model, or a friend or acquaintance of the artist. It has been suggested that she may have been a member of the Minty family, with whom George Henry lived from 1905 until his death, first at 89 Sydney Street and then at 132 Fulham Road, London.

The painting reproduced in the background of the portrait appears to be Rembrandt’s Agatha Bas, 1641 (Royal Collection,

Jacob Simon,

I don't really understand how Art UK works, or does not work. Almost two years the group leader suggested closing this discusion as above. How should this be done? I fear that lack of action risks bringing Art UK into disrepute.

There is enough here to make at least a slightly better profile of Henry than is otherwise obvious online. Some facts not yet provided (unless I have missed them):
1. Exact dates of Henry's birth (as Hendry) and death
2. Parents' names and father's occupation
3. Confirmation of whether his and E. A Hornel's 'Druids gathering in the mistletoe' was (as Wiki claims under Henry) shown at the Grosvenor Gallry in 1887: the Art UK entry and others say it is dated 1890.

He met Hornel in 1885 after the latter (who was Edinburgh-trained, not in Glasgow) - returned from study in Antwerp. It may have been while at Kirkudbright where Henry's Wiki entry mentions the influence of an early period he spent doing 'nature studies' there (but not saying when). The Hornel family home was there from 1866, but perhaps just coincidentally, though it would have been a consolidating factor in their friendship if they in fact met in Glasgow,

Marcie Doran,

I would just add that the will (4 June 1929) of Emily Kezia Minty (d. 6 March 1932) of 132 Fulham Road did not mention specific pictures. She mentioned George Henry: "I DIRECT that my daughter Maria Minty shall have the use of the whole of my household furniture and effects during the lifetime of Mr. Henry who is now residing at 132, Fulham Road aforesaid and after his decease I GIVE to my daughters Hilda Hamer and Simla Rose Minty any pictures they may select to my daughter Hilda Hamer any piece of furniture she may select and to my daughter Simla Rose Minty any piece of furniture she may select out of the remainder I GIVE all the remainder of my said household furniture and effects to my daughter Maria Minty absolutely".

Neither the will (12 April 1965) of Maria Minty (d. 3 Dec. 1974) nor the will (5 June 1981) of Simla Rose Shilling (née Minty)(d. 13 March 1982) mentioned paintings.


The watercolour by George Henry, dated 1926, at this link clearly depicts the mystery woman.

Osmund Bullock,

I can see that, as is my unhelpful habit, I never reported back on various things I'd promised here, notably research into catalogues (especially of the Royal Glasgow Institute) that I'm ashamed to say I did at the NAL in...July 2017! My Tuesday night tax return deadline still looms, so that must wait.

I also never responded to Grant's request (09/07/2017 22:31) for genealogical help re whether or not Henry ever married. The answer there is 'probably not', though I can't be sure. Certainly he is stated as 'Single' in both the 1911 Census (though that evidently did not offer 'Divorced' as a possible marital status option) and the 1939 Register (which did). There are no less than 37 Scottish statutory record marriages listed for 'George Henry' (no middle name) between 1876 and 1905 (the RGI Sept exhibition catalogues give a Scottish address for him up to 1904, an English one from 1905). Unfortunately there is no way of knowing which of them (if any) might refer to him, except to pay to view every one of the relevant original records. I suppose one could limit oneself to marriages in the Glasgow area and hope for an early hit - but if all are negative we'd be little the wiser. One should also look at the Census returns for 1881, 1891 & 1901. I suspect these will show him as unmarried, or someone would likely have noticed before now; but even if they do, it's possible there was a brief marriage between censuses which was so painful (or even shameful?) that he kept it a secret thereafter. A bit more work (e.g. Scots Census transcriptions on Ancestry) without high cost is possible, but not by me just now - Marcie?

On which subject, I in fact ordered George Henry's own Will yesterday. My guess is that Marcie will already have ordered that too...but if not, don't!

Oh, and Pieter - the 1939 Register shows his exact DOB, assuming they got it right.

Thanks: the fact GH's father's name is also spelt 'Henry' on the memorial suggests he was probably instrumental in putting it up, primarily to his mother but perhaps after 1915 rather than 1909 given the consistent lettering style down to the last entry above his clearly differing one.

Query for Osmund: did anything come of your Minty family correspondence?

Marcie Doran,

The record of his birth shows that his date of birth was indeed 14 March 1858, as shown on the 1939 Register entry that Osmund attached.


Yes, I searched today for a secret marriage and failed. I'm not going to continue that search. I did not order his will!


I ordered, from Findmypast, the 1921 Census entry that shows the Minty household at 89 Sydney Street. I’m not allowed to attach it here. What is interesting is that everyone in the boarding house provided his/her own information and they each wrote in script, rather than printed, their names. That might have been useful had we not been sure of the artist.

Emily Keziah Minty was the "Boarding House Keeper". Her daughters Hilda and Simla Rose both recorded their occupation as "stamp examiner" for "the Crown Agents for the Colonies". Her daughter Maria had "home duties" and her daughter Rachel was a/the "cook" and "out of work".

One of the two boarders was Thomas Anthony Trollope. He was single and his age was 27 years, 5 months. He was a full-time student at the "City Guilds (Eng.) College". The other boarder was George Henry. He was single and his age was 63 years, 3 months. He was born in "Ayrshire, Irvine". His occupation was "artist", on "own account". His place of work was "26 Glebe Place, Chelsea, London, S.W."


I've attached an article about the man who I believe was the donor of this and five other works on Art UK.

Was the work at this link really a "gift" in 1940?

Kieran Owens,

For what it's worth, The Scotsman, of Saturday 1st October 1927, in its report on the 66th annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Art Institute, reported that "Simpler and more portrait-like in theme, Mr. George Henry's "Lady With Fan", which is one of the finest of his later works, .....attracts attention"

Louis Musgrove,

Just to think out of the box. Here is Etude Japanese.
Also considering 1893 Japanese Baby, and 1894 Geisha Girl-- I was just wondering if "Mary" was his own half Japanese Daughter?? She has thich black hair.Knowing a bit about Japanese Culture- I think he might not have thought she would have any life ,as a foreigner in 19th century Japan, and brought her back to Britain?? .

Louis, thinking 'outside the box' is all very well but it needs to be backed up by solid research. You refer to the work 'Japanese Baby' from 1893 as being, I think, some sort of evidence that George Henry had a child with a Japanese woman. As far as I am aware Henry didn't arrive in Japan until late in April 1893. The baby in the 1893 work referred to is very clearly a few months old and it must be highly likely that the child was conceived well before George Henry set foot in Japan.

Louis Musgrove,

The thing is,that these paintings of " Mary" do have a rather special quality,as referred to in the newspaper cuttings of the time. I just wondered if it was a labour of love ???

Louis Musgrove,

Paisley have a "Henry" that does not appear on Art UK search - but is there -curious?
I find this very interesting!
And if we look at "Brambles" it strikes me that this is " Mary" again,in a Kimono-- with very Japanese looking hair.
This is just my take on " Henry's" paintings,and I know other people do not like my Ideas- but I just want to put forward this suggestion. Cheers.Louis.

Marcie Doran,

Louis, the title of the work 'Etude Japonaises' is certainly interesting because of the use of plural for the second word, implying that both the woman and the figurine are Japanese.

To test your theory, I searched the 1921 Census on Findmypast for women living in Chelsea who were born in Japan and found the following women: Dorothea N. Blake b. 1898, Rhoda Bertice Hornby b. 1863, Noriko Nakauomikads b. 1894, Maki Swase b. 1895, Amy E. Walters b. 1894 and Shiza Yamamuro b. 1886. I have not discovered a link between any of these women and George Henry on Ancestry.

Louis Musgrove,

Oooh Marcie- thanks for thinking about my idea.Sort of developed from the posts above. . Of course Henry also spent a lot of time in Scotland. If "Mary" is real she might have been based up there (Glasgow??). . We might be looking for someone born in 1893/4 and possibly also at the same address ,someone else born 1863/73 ish. Not an easy task.
Referring back to " Beauty and the Beast"--- My GUESS - I emphasise guess- would be " Mary" at about 15- so if the painting is dated 1908 (not mentioned on Art Uk entry) -- that would fit. ???
"The Reading" dated 1913,might again show "Mary "-- at age 20- and it looks like a Scottish setting to me.
" Brambles " would be "Mary"at 27- and it "might" be Scotland settingwise.
Perhaps a Victorian man might be discrete about his unusual family???

Marcie Doran,

I still think that many of those works by Henry depicted women from the Minty family, Louis!

Osmund Bullock,

Marcie, can you try and resist the temptation to give us full details of all your negative results? If you wish to spend your time pursuing Louis's vanishingly unlikely-to-impossible hypotheses, that's fine; but I would implore you to do the work quietly, and only share such aspects of the research that at least show promise. For example, what possible relevance could a woman with an entirely English name born in Japan when George Henry was five years old have to any of this?

In any case your French grammar conclusion makes no sense. 'Etude' is a singular noun, the adjective attached to it therefore remains singular, whatever its imagined connotations. There is a grammatical mismatch that suggests there has been a typo or misreading (and/or ignorance of the language) somewhere along the line, quite possibly in the cataloguing. The title as given does *not* imply both the woman and the figurine are Japanese; if it were ''Étude des japonaises' [Study of Japanese (women)] or perhaps 'Études japonaises' [Japanese studies] it might do so, but it is not. Could it be a mistake or deliberate error with a secret message by the artist? I suppose so, but without a shred of real evidence, this is all getting a bit silly in my view.

Louis, you write "not an easy task", but as ever show little inclination to do the necessary work yourself. You'd have more respect from me if, as well as coming up with your wild ideas, you were prepared to do some research to ascertain if there's evidence to support them or not.

Marcie Doran,

Was ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (31/01/2023 12:03) originally called ‘The Chinese Kilim’ and exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1905 and at an exhibition in Glasgow in 1906? The ugly ornament is not in the girl’s lap but it is in the right-hand corner of the picture.

Kieran Owens,

Marcie, see the attached. The ceramic figure, the same in both paintings, is a Chinese "Foo Dog". The black and white photograph of the painting appeared in The Graphic of Saturday 13th May 1905. Why the painter chose to use the word "kilim" is a mystery yet to be unravelled.

Marcie Doran,

Thank you very much for clearing up that mystery, Kieran.

Jacinto Regalado,

"Kilim" does not refer to a carpet or rug; it is a corruption of qilin, a mythological animal seen in Asian art. However, the ceramic figure in question is, as Kieran noted, of a so-called "Foo dog," which is a different animal also depicted in Asian art.

Osmund Bullock,

Yes, K'i-Lin used to be a common Western transliteration of Qilin, though it's pronounced Chee-lin not Kee-lin. The mythical Qilin varies in appearance, but always has hooved feet, and I agree this is more like a "Foo Dog"...which is not a dog at all but a sort of lion. Called Shī in Chinese, and properly found in pairs as seated guardians outside buildings - shíshī are I believe specifically the stone ones, but perhaps that includes ceramic. Weirdly you can see images of both on beer labels: the Japanese version of the Qilin is the Kirin, found on the eponymous beer bottles, while the Thai version of the Shī is the Singha...ditto.

George painted another, in part almost identical version of the work that he dated 1918 (exhibited at the RGI the same year as 'Portrait of a Young Girl'), but with no lion on a table and the young sitter extended to full-length. See attached 1. When the first version was renamed 'Beauty and the Beast' I know not, but it was certainly before 1944 when Paisley lent it under that name to both the RGI and the RSA, who exhibited several works of his posthumously that year. Attached 2 & 3.

Osmund Bullock,

And I apologize to Marcie, on whom I was unduly (and unnecessarily) harsh earlier, for going thoroughly off-topic in that last comment myself. Although I'd done some work on it, I wasn't going to post a reply to your query for that very reason; but others having led the way...well, I couldn't stop myself. Time to abandon my attempts, I think, to keep these long threads from expanding still further along dozens of tangential paths - and especially so when I tend to do it rather rudely.

Louis Musgrove,

Marcie- so "Beauty and the Beast" or Kilim was obviously painted in Scotland in 1906- When " Mary" would have been 13-- which I think would fit ok. Trouble is- Scottish Census records are not available. Just me "Fantasising" again :-).

Marcie Doran,

No problem, Osmund.

Thanks to both Osmund and Jacinto for the very interesting information about the ornament.

I had been trying to find out the age of the young girl – to figure out if she lived at the boarding house. Thanks to Kieran (01/02/2023 01:13), I see now that the work ‘The Chinese Kilim’ from 1905 depicted a woman with the "Foo dog” ornament in her lap whereas ‘Beauty and the Beast’ depicted a child with the same ornament. I overlooked the word "lady" in the articles that I posted. My guess is that Henry created the second work after the backlash in the press against having the "ugly" ornament in a painting ("Mr. Henry might well have entitled his picture 'Beauty and the Beast' ...").

A Heny profile draft attached: Christopher Wood (Dict. Victorian Painters) lists some sources though misprints 1895 for 1885 as when he met E.A. Hornel. It should be possible to collate when Henry and Hornel shared a Glasgow studio from Johnson & Greutner, but I failed to spot that when looking at it in the office.

1 attachment
Louis Musgrove,

Just to Fantasise some more. Here is 1918 "Resting by the Lake"To me obviously Scotland ( not the South Downs ).And I suggest "Mary " and her friend/relative "Felicity" are the sitters. "Mary " (guess 25 years old) here does look a bit Japanese- quite obvious in this painting, I think.

Kieran -thanks for the link.However it is not so easy to search these-even if you are a subscriber :-( .

Pieter, From exhibition records and my volumes of The Year's Art it is clear that in 1902 George Henry gave his contact address as 2, West Regent Street, Glasgow and in 1903 his contact address was stated as 26, Glebe Place, Chelsea. I think it probable that he left Scotland for London in 1903 which had an impact on his relations with some Scottish based institutions and collectors. He retained that studio in Chelsea until his death. I have a pretty good idea as to what his studio would have been like as I visited the adjoining studio at 27, Glebe Place in the 1970s. Even then it was rather like a trip back in time to pre-war London.

Thanks Grant: nicely specific (and I saw he was - perhaps disapprovingly - recorded as a 'Non-resident' RSA from 1908).

Its not entirely clear from the J & G listing if he started at Glasgow School of Art in 1882, finished there in 1882 (more likely) or was only there in 1882 (which sound rather short), though looks like this was after he had done early work as a commercial illustrator. As always with these profiles I'm working largely from what's in the discussion. In his case Christopher Wood lists a number of other sources, here slightly expanded, but I'm not going to chase them so add for information only:

'[The] Studio [magazine], vol. 24, p. 117; vol. 31, p.3 ff; vol. 68, p.73 ff, p.95 ff; vol.83, p.33. 'Art Journal', 1904-07 and 1909; D. Martin. 'Glasgow School of Painting', 1902; [James] Caw [presumably 'Scottish Painting Past and Present, 1620-1908 (1908)] pp. 399-404; George Buchanan, 'The Scottish Art Review', vol.7, no.4; Scottish Arts Council, 'The Glasgow Boys' exhib., Glasgow, 1968.'

Pieter, I am setting out a few points for consideration thanks:

1. Contributor Oliver Perry on 16 January 2017 set out the details in regard to George Henry's mother, who was born in Catrine, East Ayrshire on 6th January 1832.
2. There have been various thoughts expressed as to when George Henry left Glasgow and lived permanently in London. Having researched his exhibition records further my take on it, for what it is worth, is that he probably took possession of the studio at 26 Glebe Place in 1903 rather than 1904. My evidence in support is that he exhibited two works with the New Gallery in 1903 sent from that address. My theory is that Mr Henry took his time over the move from his Glasgow studio as his exhibits at both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Glasgow Institute in 1904 were sent in from his address at 2, West Regent Street, Glasgow. It seems likely to me that Mr Henry needed time to set up the new studio in London, to allow for some form of temporary accommodation there and to build up his contacts in London.
3. The well-established London art dealers Messum's have dealt in the past in work by George Henry and they described a painting of the interior at 26 Glebe Place as follows: '...a model seated in an empire-style armchair (Alice Perry)... and the pale jade walls of his Chelsea studio at Glebe Place'. They go on to describe Mr Henry as follows 'Throughout the first decade of the 20th century, he was a high-profile figure in the Chelsea art community; a founding member of the Chelsea Arts Club; and a recognisably dapper figure at various events, where he was fond of wearing a dress kilt.' This description fits well with what Osmund Bullock has said previously.
4. I found the Messum's piece online after I starting researching one of Mr Henry's models, Miss Alice Perry. George Henry exhibited a painting of her, fully titled, number 332 at the Glasgow Institute in 1906. Messum's found that Alice Perry was the model for well-known paintings by GH namely 'Poinsettia' (1904), 'The Blue Gown' (1906), and another portrait in the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (GW - this would be the one titled 'Miss Alice Perry'). The painting Messum's had owned, for which Alice Perry was also the model, was titled 'Ready for the Theatre' and was likely to date to circa 1905. Please see this link:
5. Although it doesn't resolve the question posed in this discussion, I am of the opinion that Alice Perry was the model for three George Henry paintings listed on Art UK, as follows:

Lady with Goldfish in Kirkcaldy Galleries

The Tortoiseshell Mirror in Paisley Art Institute

East and West in National Galleries of Scotland

If not already documented, I think consideration should be given to further investigation in order to hopefully add to the description of each of these pictures.
6. I noted from further research into George Henry that on the return journey from his trip to Japan many of his canvases were lost at sea. I believe works on paper and works on board survived the journey.
7. During this discussion we have considered whether or not George Henry ever married. As far as I am aware he remained single throughout his life. Previously I took a Sotheby's description from 1992 of a George Henry painting 'Portrait of the Artist's Wife' at face value. The painting in question dated from about 1905.

As a general observation there appears to have been little published on George Henry's life and work apart from reviews of his time as a 'Glasgow Boy' and the work he undertook on his trip to Japan with E A Hornel in 1893/94.

Jacinto Regalado,

Given the donor and that his daughter Alice was a model for Henry, does that not suggest that the woman depicted was one of his daughters?

Marcie Doran,

That makes sense, Jacinto, but, unless the bequest was in Perry's will, his daughters would surely have wanted to keep the painting in the family. I've reached out to Perry family members on Ancestry.


You’re very welcome, Grant. It was indeed a challenge! Here are a few missing details:

According to the registration for her birth on Scotlandspeople, “Alice Annie Perry” was born on 2 September 1887 at Roselea, Lenzie, Kirkintilloch.

An article from 1946 about the donation of 'Lady and Goldfish' [sic] states that "this picture was painted before Mr. Henry left Glasgow for London". The article states that it was "presented by his executors" whereas the acquisition method states that it was "donated by James Paterson, 1946". The sitter is wearing a wedding ring.

Although it's not shown in the information that accompanies the painting, 'The Tortoiseshell Mirror' seems to be dated 1903 under the artist's signature. The sitter is wearing a wedding ring.

'East and West' is dated "after 1904" but, since it was mentioned in an article in 1907, it is also "before 1908". I struggled to figure out who the donors "Mr. and Mrs. G.D. Robinson" could be. They were George Dominic Robinson (1903–1987) and his wife Elspeth Welsh Robinson (née Naysmith)(1896–1979). Dr. Young and his wife reportedly adopted Elspeth after her mother passed away. George was described as a "former Edinburgh hotelier" in an article from 1988.


Felicity is an unusual name. After much searching, my guess is that Henry's sitter with that name was Felicité Frances Ysobel Nias (later Malcolm)(reg. Q1 1897–1969), a doctor’s daughter who lived with her parents in Chelsea at 5 Rosary Gardens. She was married in 1920. Perhaps one day, more information about her will be available online and this conjecture can be verified.

Kieran Owens,

Hi Marcie,

you might like to check this out:

The translation is bellow. You might like to contact Antônio Dayrell
Felicite Frances Isobel Nias
Code: 318599

Born London, England, 1897

Death England, 1969

Married Guthrie Llewellyn Malcolm

Individual Details
Felicite Frances Isobel NIAS
(Abt 1897 -)

Born Abt 1897 London
Baptism 13th May 1897 St Jude, South Kensington, London
Residence From 1901 to 1911 with parents - 5, Rosary Gardens, South Kensington, London
Marriage 1920 Register District of Kensington, Middlesex - Guthrie Llewellyn MALCOLM

Spouse Guthrie Llewellyn MALCOLM (-)
Father Joseph Baldwin NIAS (1857 - 1919)
Mother Frances Miriam Clare DAYRELL (1872 - 1958)

Registered by Antônio Carlos Dayrell Lucas.
Source: Antônio Carlos Dayrell Lucas (Antônio Dayrell) Phone: (038) - 99871-3754 - Três Marias - Minas Gerais Email► Email►dayrellmortimer@groups.faceb Tree:John/Alice/João/Ângelo/Antonio

Marcie Doran,

Thanks, Kieran. That’s a great idea. I’ll send him an email.

Osmund Bullock,

To answer Pieter's question of a week or so ago about whether anything came of my Minty family correspondence (my post 03/07/2017 06:25). Sadly the answer is no, not really: the daughters' great nephew Ian whom I'd contacted did a lot of work trying to find helpful family photos, but without success. He replied:

"... a fascinating tale, but regrettably I am unable to provide evidence of the three Minty sisters. My cousin Isabel asked her mum, Mrs Freeman if she knows of any photographs of Pol, Cis and Bid (as they were known - see below), but there are none in the family albums. I have photos of William Albert Minty as a young soldier (c. 1914) but I don't think that will help you much."

He continued [I'm quoting this as there are clues for further Minty family research, if anyone wanted to do it]:

" ... I see that living in the Sydney Street address [in 1901] were Maria, then aged 12, but pronounced Mariah and known as Cis. I believe she never married. Will, aged 11 born Chelsea, 24 May 1889 ... died Hemel Hempstead 14 Feb 1959, aged 69; Rachel, aged 10; died later in her teens from TB; Hilda (known as Bid) aged 3; she married a Mr Percy ?Hamer. Unnamed daughter aged 6 days, who was presumably Aunt Poll, but christened Simla Rose. Later married Ernest Shilling. Long after she was widowed Aunt Pol came to live in an Abbeyfield home in George Street, Hemel Hempstead, that my dad helped to arrange. Aunt Pol was also known as Sim in her younger days, according to Mrs Ann Davies who my Mum and I went to see at her home in Coventry in March 1982. Mrs Davies (born 1897) was a friend of Aunt Pol, if a few years older. They met when Pol was 17 and went to work for the Crown Agent’s Office, near Bank in the City of London. Maybe she might have been one of GH's sitters? The name Simla is supposed to refer to an aunt who lived and died working as a nurse in Simla, India, but I’ve not been able to find out any more. I don’t have a name. The photo I have of their mother, Kaziah, shows a fairly formidable Edwardian lady of mature years in a long black dress that I doubt will be of much use in your research. So ... thank you for taking the trouble to get in touch and provide another piece of the jigsaw that is our family history."

I wrote back later asking if the 1921 (wrongly 1922) 'Portrait of a Woman' ( could possibly be Kaziah, of whom he did have a photo, but received no reply. Since I'd previously shown him an image of that painting (along with the four others) without any reaction, I didn't think it worth pursuing.

Osmund Bullock,

I won't do any more research on this thread, but there are a few other loose ends to tie up.

George Henry's Will that I ordered turns out to have been a Scottish one, 'confirmed' not probated, and the Probate Index listing just a 'sealing' for property held in England & Wales. I didn't pursue it on Scotland's People, as I later saw that Grant had mentioned some details of the Will early in the discussion (29/06/2017 07:57) ; I assume that any mention in it of other potentially interesting people would have been noted.

Osmund Bullock,

I've put together the images I took at the NAL of Henry's entries from the RGI, RA, RSA & NEAC Exhibitors' Indexes, which I attach. I've marked some exhibits with blobs of green (our portrait & the two others compared in the intro), pale blue (the 'Pink Dress' portrait) or dark blue (a few of the others discussed here).

Our portrait was exhibited as just 'Portrait' at the RGI in 1922, quite probably (with the same title) at the RA the same year, and perhaps at the RSA in 1923 as 'Portrait of a Lady'; 'The Paisley Shawl' (RSA 1926) seems likely to have appeared before as 'The Shawl' (RA 1920); and I imagine 'Woman with a fan' (RA 1924) and 'Lady with Fan' (RGI 1927) are also the same work. As it's the work actually under discussion, I'm also attaching the original RGI 1922 catalogue page for 'Portrait'.

One final attachment, solely for interest's sake: what looks like the same 'Kilim'/ Qilin/ Shishi ornament seen in the two 1905/6 paintings appears in a very different composition, 'A June Morning', exhibited at the RGI in 1916, and illustrated in the catalogue.

I'd like to thank Marcie for emailing to say she has no more to add here, except that a photograph of Jacob Minty's sister Jane confirms that she does not resemble any of the sitters that have been discussed, and of the four other people with Perry family trees on Ancestry that she contacted, only one replied (no information).

Osmund, that's very helpful. Were there any images of George Henry's exhibits in the RGI catalogues? I should know as I have a good number of those original catalogues from around 1915 to about 1930 but I cannot recall where I have put them. There are some points I should like to make about George Henry's later work which I think are relevant to this discussion. I'll write it up this weekend.

Osmund Bullock,

There were some, Grant, but not of our work (which can only have been the one titled in 1922 just 'Portrait'). I did for some reason copy three of the Henry illustrations - it's possible they were the only ones, but I'm far from sure now (5½ years later!). I've already posted two of them (from the 1916 & 1918 exhibitions), but I'm attaching them again plus another from 1941 (the painting dated 1939).

Apologies for the inconsistent images - I was photographing on my phone with one hand (and no flash permitted) while trying to hold the volume of bound catalogues gently open with the other...

I have undertaken quite a lot of research into the work of George Henry over the past few years and so as not to make the post too long I'll split the posts into three parts. The first seeks to address the point raised in this discussion.

I'll begin by referencing George Henry's Diploma work for his elevation to a full member of the Royal Academy. It was exhibit number 119 at the RA in 1921 and it was titled 'Brambles'. The painting is held in the collection of the RA and is shown here:

This work is signed and dated 1920. It is clearly a throwback to his visit to Japan in 1893/94 which was undertaken with his friend the artist E. A. Hornel. I think it most unlikely that a Japanese woman modelled for the 1920 painting. I also suspect that a good number of his later figure paintings were not from life, including 'Lady in a Green Dress'.

I discovered online two immensely interesting articles on Henry's fellow artist and close friend, Edward Atkinson Hornel (1864-1933). They were published by National Trust Scotland. The links to these articles published respectively in 2018 and 2019 are below:

National Trust Scotland is well worth a 'follow'.

I acknowledge that these articles are about Hornel and not his great friend and companion George Henry but I have suspected for some time that Henry also used photographs as a basis for some of the models in his paintings. Henry would have been very much aware of Hornel's methods.

So my conclusion for what it is worth is that 'Lady in a Green Dress' and other similar pictures of that period were unlikely to have been painted entirely from life and are in effect largely compositions based on photographs and/or from elements of Henry's earlier work including sketches. I think the painting 'Brambles' at the RA supports such an opinion.

Parts 2 and 3 of my comments on GH will follow tomorrow.

My second post attempts to cover George Henry's career subsequent to his arrival in London circa 1903. There is a relative dearth of modern material on him and it is telling that in the Wikipedia entry for him the sources cited are just two, 'Martin, The Glasgow School of Painting (London, 1897)' and 'Caw, Scottish Painting, Past and Present (Edinburgh, 1908)'

I think that George Henry's move to London is likely to have been motivated by a desire to enhance his reputation internationally and to improve his income from lucrative portrait commissions from the great and the good. From my review I think he succeeded in that during the Edwardian period. He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1907 and for his more important paintings he was charging between £300 and £500 at a time when the average wage was around £70 per annum. This initial success makes it all the more of a mystery (to me) that he chose to lodge with the Minty family in Sydney Street, Chelsea, a location which at that time was not sought after.

GH also had the large studio space at 26 Glebe Place, Chelsea. From descriptions of it the studio was clearly well fitted out which allowed clients and models to pose there is some comfort. I imagine he kept a goldfish bowl there as one pops up in several of his paintings.

As the years passed the Great War had a huge impact on peoples lives, their tastes and their spending power, and I believe this impacted on GH's income and by then his reputation was diminishing. It seems to me that the artist felt that the solution to this problem was twofold, firstly to revert somewhat to his work as a Glasgow Boy by painting landscapes of the South Downs (his new 'Galloway') and secondly to reference Japanese women and their accessories in his new work e.g. his R.A. Diploma work 'Brambles' exhibited at the RA in 1921, thus harking back to his trip to Japan with Hornel in 1893-94.

What I find very curious, and as yet unexplained, is why he appears to have had a diminished relationship with both the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy. He was a full member of both societies yet he didn't exhibit works for sale with the RSA after 1923. The few works shown there afterwards were all loans either from private collections or from institutions. This situation contrasts with GH continuing to send his paintings to the Glasgow Institute right up to the time of his death.

The situation in respect of the Royal Academy is even more baffling to me. As I have said above GH became ARA in 1907. He was not elected to full RA status until 1920. In the meantime other artists, who were appointed ARA some time after George Henry, were made full RA which may have irked him. And possibly very telling is that GH's work wasn't included annually in Royal Academy Illustrated. It was in RAI that RA members used to get prominence for their work. I have checked the annual volumes from 1916 to 1926 and his work does not appear at all. Even his diploma painting 'Brambles' from the 1921 exhibition is excluded which I believe is almost unheard of especially as the diploma paintings went into the RA permanent collection. From 1927 his work reappears in Royal Academy Illustrated. I can only suggest that he may have sold the copyright to his pictures from that period to a third party or either there must have been a disagreement of some sort between the artist and the RA during this period.

I have also been through my volumes of the The Studio for the 1920s and 1930s and although not all of mine are indexed, George Henry doesn't seem to get much of a mention. Perhaps he was simply regarded as an artist from a different era.

Anyone reading this will be relieved that the final post, coming soon, will be much shorter.

There are 95 works by George Henry held on Art UK. I have reviewed most of them and in some instances I believe the record needs updating to reflect an exhibition title, a date for the work and details of the exhibition history where known. I'll be working with Art UK on this who in turn will advise the Collections of the proposed amendments.

Finally, a bit of personal news. I am stepping down as a Group Leader on Art Detective very shortly due to other commitments. I have been in the role since the launch of Art Detective in 2014 and I have enjoyed it immensely. I have greatly valued the time, effort and expertise shown by so many of you the contributors, without which Art Detective couldn't function effectively. Also the support of Marion Richards and other Art UK staff has been invaluable. So many thanks to all of you. I'll continue to post comments on some discussions where I think I may be able to add something of interest and I'll assist Art UK with some of their curations (if asked!).

Martin Hopkinson,

Grant , you will be sorely missed for your judicious attention to very many discussions

Marcie Doran,

I agree with Martin, Grant. Thank you for your many contributions. Actually, your posts about George Henry are fascinating!

Henry's early model - Alice Anne Perry (eldest daughter of David,1856-1939, sometime Provost of Kirkintilloch) - was born on 2 September 1887 and married the Revd Joseph Johnston (b.1874) in Glasgow in 1916 while he was a WWI army chaplain. Both and I assume one (blanked out) child, of however many, were living in Bracknell Gardens, Hampstead, in September 1939. She lost both her father and mother that year and though I have not found her husband's death date, she died at Bridge, near Canterbury, aged 82 in the October quarter of 1969.

William Hendry, George's father, was born in 1822/3 at Irvine, married Ann Cowan Fisher on 20 March 1857 at Catrine, Sorn, Ayrshire and died on 29 October 1859 at Kilbirnie, Ayrshire, where he was buried. So he survived George's birth on 14 March 1858 by just over 17 months.

As Marcie has already pointed out our 'Lady in a green dress' which is apparently (acc. Osmund 08/02/2023 03:37) the 'Portrait' first seen as no. 84 in the Glasgow Institute show of 1922, is one of 6 or 7 paintings 'given' to Glasgow by David Perry in 1940. Since he died in 1939 that is either a misleading date of formal acquisition of earlier gift, or it was in fact a bequest.

Can this now 'wrap'?

Grant, it was very good to talk last month and I hope you're finding more time to relax now. Thank you again, including for all your latest contributions on George Henry. I will follow up your suggestion of 5/2/23 to discuss with the relevant collections (Kirkaldy, Paisley and NGS) that Alice Perry (Mrs Joseph Johnston, 1887–1969) is the likely model in those paintings.

Catherine, thank you for your summary. This stayed open so long because more and more information kept arriving, and I was waiting for a final email update from Marcie (with thanks, received last month).

Pieter, thank you for the latest draft biography, which has been added to Art UK.