Thank you to Lorfords Antiques / Coffee Time

Many thanks to the staff at Lorfords Antiques, Tetbury, Gloucestershire, who allowed me to take a good look at and photograph April’s Lady, which has now been sold.

There are two works with April in their name* mentioned in exhibition lists that I know of. April Lady in 1900 and April’s Lady in 1933. They are not necessarily the same work, of course. In spite of water damage, an ancient-looking label on the back of the work I examined does just about show an apostrophe, so I presume it to be correctly titled ‘April’s Lady.’

* There was also A Metaphor of Spring, and Youth, and Morning: a Vision of Incarnate April mentioned as having been sold for £105 [£4,500 at today’s prices] by Annie at the Manchester Society of Women Painters exhibition in 1882, but Annie’s style at that time was far removed from the work above, unless this April’s Lady was a deliberately rough, preparatory piece – Annie made detailed preparatory works on occasion, and it occurs to me that this is a very expensive way to work because oil paint is, and always has been, a costly medium. She does not appear to have been someone who’d make a few pencil or crayon sketches then go straight to oil on canvas. One is also reminded of the hundreds of ‘unfinished’ canvases found in her studios in London and Rome after her death. She clearly didn’t stint on quality of materials and in her method of production.

Would you like to buy me a coffee?

My web site fees are due in September, £84 (£3 less than last year, which is nice), plus the domain renewal fee of £15 which I paid earlier in the year, a total of £99. I fund the site entirely myself, including things such as the 100-mile round trip to see April’s Lady, in spite of living on a basic wage as a carer – work I love and am very happy with, in spite of the limited financial reward.

I enjoy sharing my exploits and discoveries with the people I help through the day. I was telling someone only recently how, after she was finally elected to the Royal Academy, Annie took pleasure in submitting works for exhibition which had previously been refused, knowing that the institution would feel obliged to exhibit them now that she was deemed to be an artist a great as any other, and they said she must have been someone of very strong character, which I think was absolutely the case.

If you would like to make a donation, click this banner …

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… you’ll be taken to a page where can make a donation. In the event the total going over £99 (which has never happened yet!) I’ll donate the surplus to Manchester Art Gallery, the main curator of Annie’s legacy.

I only ask to help cover web/domain fees and continue to fund everything else – gallery entrance donations, travel expenses, purchase of old auction catalogues, etc. – myself.

Thank you.

Jonathan Russell

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