Joan of Arc / Dacre exhibition / racehorse / improved images / pony

CAME ACROSS a photo in The Times, 25 Nov 1922, showing Annie standing by Joan of Arc, but the image has differences to the version known today, most noticeably the arched corners of the picture. It is either another version or Annie reworked parts of the canvas after the photo was taken. The Southing of the Sun is also visible in the photo.



It’s nice to see the photo from the point of view of attribution, as it establishes without doubt that these are her works. The attributions have never been in quesion, but one can’t have strong enough evidence!

ANNIE’S LIFE-LONG FRIEND, Susan Isable Dacre, had a solo exhibition at Walker’s Gallary, Bond Street, London, in 1912, the only occasion I’ve come across of this happening:

… at Walker’s Gallery the charming works of an artist less well known in London, the “Little Pictures of Italy” of Miss Isabel Dacre. We can call to mind few modern painters who can render the different phases of Italian colour with greater accuracy than this lady, who evidently lived in the country and learned to love it in all its moods and tenses. Perugia, Assisi, and Siena seem to be her favourite places, and her pictures of the hill-landscapes around those cities are singularly faithful.

The Times, 12 March 1912, p11.

“ANNIE LOUISE” was the name of a racehorse run by a “Mr. W. Robinson” in Salford, Manchester, 1877. Annie’s maiden name was Robinson, daughter of Francis and Ann Robinson, so this would appear to be a relative christening a horse with her name, or a remarkable coincidence. Annie was not entirely consistent in the spelling of her name earlier in her life, sometimes using ‘Anne’ and ‘Louise’ instead of ‘Annie’ and ‘Louisa.’

SALFORD BOROUGH CUP of 200 sovs. … Mr. W. Robinson … Annie Louise, 6 yrs, 6 St. 4 lb. … The distance post was reached when Annie Louise began to compound, the favourite at the same time shooting away four lengths from his field, easing up, however, in the run home, and winning in a canter by two lengths from Harriet Laws, who beat Harry Bluff a similar distance in their places. Annie Louise was a very bad fourth …

The Times, 26 May 1877.

THANKS AGAIN to Grant Waters for providing better quality images than ones I’d previously had for Portrait of Bessie, wife of Col. Massy and Sketch for an equestrian portrait. I’d previously though that the latter, having had only a poor quality reproduciton, was a drawing, but now see that it is a painted canvas.


HAVE JUST NOTICED a possible similarity between the 1922 photograph and oil sketch of a pony. Not certain about this, but it did make me think about other examples of Annie doing detailed experimental sketches, which then made me wonder if this was an explaination why there were so many ‘unfinished’ canvases in her studio after her death. She may have simply have been an artist who liked to experiment separately a lot – lines, colours, compositions – rather than ‘create on the canvas.’


Jonathan Russell

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