Continental European after 1800, Dress and Textiles, London: Artists and Subjects, Portraits: British 20th C 21 Who painted this portrait of a woman in a fashionable cloche hat?

NY_PPA_070_a
Topic: Artist

This is an artist of some quality, possibly influenced by the Camden Town painters.

Art UK adds: A note in the collection's file suggests Louis Picard (1861–1940). The painting is in the art store. On the reverse of this canvas is ‘Woman Mending a Fishing Net’, c.1910, (acc. no. 070_b).
https://artuk.org/discover/artworks/woman-mending-a-fishing-net-8936/view_as/grid/search/keyword:woman-mending-a-fishing-net/page/1

There are no labels or other inscriptions. Two holes are clearer on the reverse.

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

21 comments

Peter Nahum,

It looks as if there are initials bottom right including L P?

Martin Forrest,

Could she possibly be the same model as in 'Mrs Mounter at the Breakfast Table' by Harold Gilman? Smaller nose but very similar eyes!

Martin Hopkinson,

Louis Lazare Picard is his full name. L P are the initials of Lucien Pissarro, but did he ever paint in this style.
The verso seems to be by an inferior and different artist. Perhaps LP reused an old canvas?

Antoinette Gordon,

Suggest - Later work of Ambrose McEvoy (1878-1927); compare "Head of a Girl"; "Maud in Sunlight"; "In the Garden - Mrs Claude Johnson".

This is interesting. Pamela, thank you for suggesting Louise Pickard, which is quite a coincidence as I thought the collection had attributed this to Louis Picart. Antoinette, many thanks for suggesting Ambrose Gordon, and Martin Forrester for proposing Harold Gilman.

Interestingly, when Martin (Hopkinson) sent this enquiry he mentioned that women artists are often overlooked …

I will check with the collection on Monday.

Martin Hopkinson,

a suitably Yorkshire suggestion from Pamela. I think that Louise Pickard was a member of the Fylingdales Group, and associated with Ethel Walker, whose father was a Yorkshireman, and with Beatrice Bland from Lincoln. It would be worth looking at the titles of the pictures which showed at the New English Art Club, and at the Goupil Gallery. She was in a three artist exhibition at the Goupil in 1924 with Ethel Walker and Charles Ginner [ who was well known in Yorkshire].
With Walker and Bland, Pickard formed' the Cheyne Walkers' in the words of Wilson Steer- they were friends in Chelsea

Peter Nahum,

Stylistically Louise Pickard seems like a very good bet. I do not think it is well enough painted for Gilman, whose style is more careful and particular. Although Ambrose McEvoy is a clever suggestion, I think he did not paint in such an overall rough style - there is ultimately a misty smoothness within his works.

Martin Hopkinson,

Pickard had memorial exhibitions at the Alpine Gallery and Redfern Gallery in 1928 , the catalogues of which in the National Art Library would be worth looking at.
May be there is a record in the Pannett's archives of the picture's gift or purchase?

Ash Bell,

Hi can anyone identify my art please?

Osmund Bullock,

Ash Bell, as I've written on the other discussion, we can't help you with privately-owned artworks, I'm afraid. On Art Detective we only look at works of art that are in public (and a few semi-public) UK collections.

Art Detective is monitored Monday to Friday 9.00–5.30. Art UK will respond to posts made over weekends or bank holidays as soon as possible.

As there hasn't been a comment on this discussion since June 2019, I thought it would be a good time to ask if anyone has anything further to add?

It has been suggested that the artist may be Louise Pickard (d.1928) on the basis of style and the ‘LP’ inscription at the bottom right of the painting. A note in the collection file suggesting Louis Picard (1861-1940) could easily be a mistake stemming from a mis-remembering/mis-hearing/mis-reading of ‘Louise Pickard’. Ambrose McEvoy (1878-1927) has also been suggested as the artist on the basis of style, although his initials do not match the inscription and it has been argued that the brushwork may be too ‘rough’ for him.

Lou Taylor, Group Leader for Dress and Textiles, has noted that the hat appears to date from around 1927-9 and the heavy colourful trimming makes it look slightly ‘arty’.

Marcie Doran,

There are two parts to this comment:

1. I wanted to let you know about a work by Vincent van Gogh at the Kröller-Müller Museum that is very similar to the work on the verso (https://tinyurl.com/e8n3rfpm) of the painting we are discussing.

“Woman sewing and cat”
Oct-Nov 1881
https://tinyurl.com/3rv9vrkw

I used an image from the Van Gogh Worldwide website (https://tinyurl.com/dm4z5tac) to prepare the first composite (attached).

2. In support of the artist being Louise Pickard, as suggested by Pamela, I have prepared a composite, attached, based on the painting we are discussing and a work on the Invaluable website, “Anemones in blue” by Louise Pickard.

Notice first the similar layout of the two works - both show a corner of a room. The lines of the window on the right in the first work meet the lines on the white wall of the second work in the same places (I did not alter the works).

The largest flower on the sitter’s hat is quite similar to the flower on the front of the vessel, just below the cut flowers.

Finally, both works include a ‘small painting’ - in the first work it is located in the middle of the lower edge and in the second work it is located on the vessel that holds the flowers. Note that the mirror featured in another Pickard work is very similar in style to these two ‘small paintings’ (“Flowers on a table”, here on the LotSearch website, https://tinyurl.com/98532e74).

Osmund Bullock,

Perhaps I'm losing my sight, but I am quite unable to see anything like 'LP' (or any other initials or inscription) in the larger image posted by Marion at 25/04/2019 13:54.

Marcie, your second comparison tends to lead me to the conclusion that this is *not* by Louise Pickard! Although the palette is similar, to my eye nothing else is: our work is mainly composed of very fine, almost pointillist brushwork while the Pickard 'Anemones' has much longer, broader, bolder brushstrokes. I am baffled by your other 'similarities' - I think the 'small painting' on the vase is just a roughly depicted pictorial panel, very common on oriental vases, and not some choice by the the artist; and I don't believe what you see as a painting (of a face?) at our sitter's breast is actually that, though we'd need a close-up to be sure. And relating the mirror reflection in the other Pickard to either of those seems very far-fetched indeed. Nor can I see any significance in the similarity of pose in the verso work to that in the very different van Gogh - to me it's the sort of thing electronic software flags up as a match, but which in reality isn't close enough to be in any way remarkable.

Osmund

Attached is a detail (the best we can get from the image we have) of the area you suggested.

I am going to ask the Collection the question Martin posed on 27/04/2019 'May be there is a record in the Pannett's archives of the picture's gift or purchase?'. What struck me for the first time looking at this is that the reverse 'Woman Mending a Fishing Net’ entirely fits with the strengths of the Pannett Art Gallery, and the Staithes Collection focussing on the fishing community. So here maybe either an artist linked to the Staithes or Fylingdales Group in some way, as Martin also remarked on 26/04/2019. What is lacking are acquisition details. This has an accession number of 070_a and I noted that their Ethel Walker https://bit.ly/3EGKNMR is 066, but rather than trying to see if there is a pattern in accession numbers that might give us some clues, best we just ask the Collection what more they know.

1 attachment
Marcie Doran,

I have attached a composite that includes another work by Louise Pickard. “Fuchsias” https://tinyurl.com/hwr5xc3k

Note that this work (and two other Pickard works on Art UK, “Still Life, Flowers” (https://tinyurl.com/8ab7u8hk) and “The Green Balcony”(https://tinyurl.com/yrwtmpd8)) show a similar corner. “Fuchsias” includes a ‘small painting’ on the wall and what might be a photo of a child on the table. And, the second work is almost a contination of the first.

Osmund Bullock,

Thanks, David. Marcie, I concede she could be holding a small portrait in front of her, but I still don't see it as a significant stylistic link to the others - and your new comparison ('Fuchsias') looks to me even less like the work of the same person.

The trouble here for me is that Marcie's valiant (but in my view unconvincing) attempts to find aspects of Pickard's work that resemble our painting are entirely predicated on there being a substantive reason to think it's by someone with a name like Louis Picard - or at least that the artist's initials are 'LP'. Without that there is no logic for focusing on Pickard at all.

David, if it's not too late, could you also ask the Collection if they could clarify the 'note' in their file about Louis Picard [sic]? Could it in fact say Louise Pickard, but has been misread? And either way, was it a suggestion based on anything concrete, e.g. a reading of 'LP' somewhere (and if so where - I can't see it on the front?), or just an idea someone had based on style?

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