THE FENWICK PORTRAITS: VIOLET EDITH FENWICK, CHARLES FENWICK, DAVID AND JONATHAN FENWICK.

PORTRAIT OF VIOLET EDITH FENWICK (ON THE TERRACE).

on-the-terrace-processed-WM

Image: private collection.

Violet (1874-1972) was the wife of George Fenwick (1870-1937), the marriage lasting from 1901 to 1917. The terrace depicted may be that of Temple Dinsley, the old manor house which the couple bought in 1908 and had enlarged. The picture is undated, but 1908-1909 seems likely as 1909 is when it is first mentioned on display at the Royal Academy.

The Athenæum, 15 May 1909: on exhibition at the Royal Academy, “the best picture [Annie Swynnerton] has yet shown … displaying considerable powers of decorative invention.

Catalogue of exhibition at the Whitchapel Art Gallery, 1910, “454 – On the Terrace (Portrait of Mrs. Fenwick) – Mrs. Swynnerton – Presented by Mrs. Lionel Phillips – The human interest of this portrait, though considerable, is surpassed by the wonderful rendering of the textures and the bold colour of the dress and accessories. The paint is almost as thickly loaded as in the work of Signor Mancini.” The catalogue states the painting is one of fifty-nine in the ‘Johannesburg Collection,’ “the nucleus of a collection of the Public Gallery at Johannesburg.” The donor, Florence Phillips (1863-1940) was the wife of South African mining magnate and government advisor Sir Lionel Phillips (1855-1936), 1st Baronet of Tylney Hall. The couple were instrumental in the founding of Johannesburg Art Gallery, donating works from their own collection. However, The Daily News, 7 Jan 1928, states, “The Late Sir Hugh Lane commissioned her picture of Mrs. Fenwick, a lady in the rose-coloured dress, for the collection he was forming in Johannesburg. He said “We must have a Swynnerton,” and went to Rome to arrange with the artist.

Violet and George Fenwick had four children, Charles (born 1897, who died in a fishing accident in Norway 1909), David (1910-1982), Jonathan (1911-1999), and Rachel (1913-2006). Temple Dinsley was sold after the couple divorced and is now a private school.

  • Media: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: exhibited Royal Academy 1909; Whitchapel Art Gallery 1910; presented by Mrs. Lionel Phillips to form part of the founding collection of Johannesburg Art Gallery, 1910. The works is now in a private collection.
  • Location: private collection.

PORTRAIT OF CHARLES FENWICK.

charles-fenwick-WM.jpg

Image: www.medici.co.uk.

  • Media: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: exhibited Royal Academy, 1908 (The Standard, 4 May 1908); image known only from commercial artwork reproduction web sites.
  • Location: unknown.

PORTRAIT OF DAVID AND JONATHAN FENWICK.

david-and-jonathan-fenwick-WM.jpg

Image: www.medici.co.uk.

  • Media: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: “in the garden at Temple Dinsley“; signed and dated 1914; exhibited Manchester, 1923 (visible in exhibition photographs); otherwise known only from images on commercial artwork reproduction web sites.
  • Location: unknown.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s