Artist dating non artist
The lady depicted in this work is seated on a stool and is depicted in graceful semi-profile. In the background there is some dark furniture which contrasts with the radiant flesh tints of the lady.It is a quirky set-up as she sits before a painting on an easel as if she is the artist admiring her own work.
Friendships were born at this Paris academy and Fred developed long term and special friendships with two other English artists, Richard Jack and the Lincoln-born, William Tom Warrener.She looks a little moody and frustrated at having to sit for her uncle and pouts with annoyance.There were more joyous things to do for a twelve-year old including mixing with the racing fraternity who would often congregate at her uncle’s home during Beverley horse-racing events.It is believed that Fred Elwell completed the portrait in just one hour. Before us we see an immaculately dressed young boy in a white suit holding his hat in his right hand and his beloved yacht in the other.His short white socks show signs of falling down towards his shiny black leather sandals.Another facet of Paris life which Elwell took to was what we now term as which he continued to follow when he returned to England.
However, life in Paris had its downside for Elwell, as with most wannabe artists the burden of financial problems was ever present and Elwell’s financial predicament, despite the odd help from his father, was the same, so much so that he had to give his beloved portrait of Léonie to his landlord in lieu of rent.
Elwell was determined to get some of his paintings excepted by the Royal Academy in London and believed he would be able to fund his London life through commissions.
Unfortunately for Elwell many artists had the same thought and the contest for painting commissions was ruthless.
Warrener was nine years old than Elwell and had already established himself as a painter.
He was also a great social animal and spent much time in the bars of Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge nightclub which had come into being in October 1889, in the Jardin de Paris, at the foot of the Montmartre hill.
As I mentioned in the first part of the Fred Elwell story, the first time he was allowed to paint live nudes was when he moved to Antwerp.