THE FENWICK PORTRAITS: ON THE TERRACE (VIOLET EDITH FENWICK), CHARLES FENWICK and DAVID AND JONATHAN FENWICK

ON THE TERRACE (PORTRAIT OF VIOLET EDITH FENWICK)

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, and the painting could date from any year in that period. If the terrace depicted is at Temple Dinsley, the old manor house which the couple bought in 1908 and had enlarged, the picture could be dated to 1908 or 1909 when the painting was on display at the Royal Academy, 1908 being more the more likely year as the painting would have taken several months to dry well with Annie’s impasto technique.

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.

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.

  • Medium: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: 1908? (in period 1901-1909); 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.

  • Medium: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: c. 1906 (from estimated age of child in painting). Known only from images on commercial artwork reproduction web sites.
  • Location: unknown.

PORTRAIT OF DAVID AND JONATHAN FENWICK

david-and-jonathan-fenwick-WM.jpg

Image: www.medici.co.uk.

  • Medium: oil on canvas (assumed).
  • Dimensions: ?
  • History: “in the garden at Temple Dinsley“; c. 1914 (from estimated ages of children in painting). Known only from images on commercial artwork reproduction web sites.
  • Location: unknown.

 

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