Completed Continental European after 1800, Dress and Textiles, London: Artists and Subjects, Portraits: British 20th C 28 Who painted this portrait of a woman in a fashionable cloche hat?

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).

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

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

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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 ( of the painting we are discussing.

“Woman sewing and cat”
Oct-Nov 1881

I used an image from the Van Gogh Worldwide website ( 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,

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.


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 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”

Note that this work (and two other Pickard works on Art UK, “Still Life, Flowers” ( and “The Green Balcony”( 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?

Andrew Shore,

I (like Osmund) can't see the LP on the bottom right at all, but I think there is some kind of writing top right, going over the break in the dark/light areas.

Obviously the painting has lots of paint strokes, so it's difficult to see anything clearly. I've equalised the light and dark, and played around a bit with the colours. I've then put Grant's image of Louise Pickard's signature underneath where the letters possibly may be, on the attached image.

Possibly it's nothing but a trick of the paint/eye, but it definitely looks like some kind of lettering. The 'Pick' section looks similar to me, at least.

1 attachment
Will Noble,

I would like to build on what has already been suggested, that the artist is Louise Pickard. But I would like to also suggest the artist and sitter in this painting are the same and that this is a self-portrait.

It has been previously suggested that the name "Louis Picard" could be a mishearing/misreading for "Louise Pickard" and Lou Taylor has dated the hat to 1927-9 (and is "arty").
Whilst comparison is difficult with an artist with so few images available online, I think there are stylistic similarities with Pickard's "The Green Balcony" in the Tate Collection. The Tate catalogue entry uses a letter from "the artist's niece, Miss I. M. Thompson" to date the painting to 1927 (it also mentions Miss Thompson owns more of her Aunt's work).

Whilst obviously subjective, this feels like a self portrait to me. Pickard would have been in her early 60s in 1927, about the last year of her life, and that fits the age of the sitter. Also the small round image in her hands bears a passing resemblance to her painting "Study of Mrs M. Fisher Prout" in Bradford Museum and Galleries collection. The artist Margaret Fisher Prout is described as Pickard's "great friend" in a newspaper reporting her death and memorial exhibition.

As previously mentioned Pickard was a member of the Fylingdale Artists group in 1925; however she had a strong connection to the area through her family, especially her niece Irene M. Thompson (the Tate source) and I believe it is through this route the painting ended up in the Pannett.

Louise Pickard's will of 1928 names her unmarried sister Marian, who had been living with her since their father died, as beneficiary. Marian dies herself in 1931 and her will names her niece Irene. The deaths of both Marian and Irene (who died in 1967, also unmarried) list the place of residence as the hamlet of "Raw, Robin Hoods Bay". Irene is associated with the area from at least the date of the 1921 census.

To show the connection to the artist, the house given on Irene's death notice was and still is called "Cheyne Cottage" (now a holiday let), no doubt after "Cheyne Walk" where Pickard had her studio in London for many years. Also Pickard's 1924 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition painting was titled "Ravenscar from Raw", which certainly must have been painted very close to the cottage.
Irene seems to have lived in Raw (and very possibly this house) for nearly 50 years.

I suggest the self portrait remained in the family until entering the local gallery, the Pannett, probably sometime after Irene Thompson's death in 1967.

The answer I think can be found in "Artwork: A Quarterly" Volumes 3-4, where there is an article on Pickard by the critic P.G. Konody from the time of Pickard's death/memorial exhibition. It features an image of a painting in the exhibition titled "Self Portrait". Frustraitingly as it is a copyrighted image Google Books will not show it online.

Hopefully someone can access the article and see if it is indeed this painting?

The Green Balcony

The same article by Konody calls this painting "Mrs Fisher-Prout by Lamplight".

(Happy to provide documentary and newspaper evidence but didn't want to put paid content on here)

Will Noble,

Amongst various articles about Louise Pickard's memorial exhibition I found this mention of a/the self portrait in the "London Letter" from the "Liverpool Post and Mercury", dated 20th October 1928.

“A Mary Webb of Painting
I was glad to see many red stars on Miss Louise Pickard’s pictures when I looked at here memorial exhibition at the Alpine Gallery to-day. Over a third of the ninety works have been sold. The National Gallery and the Contemporary Art Society are among the purchasers.
There is still unstarred a self portrait, which one suggests should hang in her native Hull.
Miss Pickard was a strange, though by no means unusual case. She had been exhibiting for a quarter of a century. Everybody - every competent judge, that is – knew she was a remarkably fine painter. She was hailed as such by eminent artists. Yet D. S. McColl tells us that she fell back on still life pieces because she could not afford models. And - an event unnoticed by the press - she died last June.”

"There is still unstarred a self portrait, which one suggest should hang in her native Hull."
Perhaps the painting found its way to where she worked rather than her home town?

The back of the canvas is ‘Woman Mending a Fishing Net’, as mentioned by Martin Hopkinson above, but I look forward to hearing from the Pannett Art Gallery with any more information they may have. Thanks.