Biographical notes: 1900-1909.

< 1890s / 1910s >


JANUARY – “S. ISABEL DACRE, Studio, 10 Acomb-street. Classes for drawing, Painting, &c. … January 20, 10 a.m.” (The Guardian, 14 Jan 1903.) [10 Acomb Street is the same address as on Isabel’s painting Portrait of a girl wearing a bonnet.]



19 August – Letter from Annie L. Swynnerton to Hugh Lane agreeing to donate a picture to the new modern art gallery in Dublin and thanking him for the honour of being asked to contribute.

August 19th. 1904
Dear Sir
I thank you for the notice you send me for the proposed Gallery of Modern Art in Dublin – I should be pleased … to be represented in such a collection and I … to be asked to contribute. But I hope … … … something decent as I am a slow worker – and … too flattering references … … …
Very truly yours
Annie L. Swynnerton

National Library of Ireland.

28 August – Letter from Vera Campbell to Hugh Lane expressing satisfaction that artists Le Sidaner and Swynnerton have promised pictures [to the Municipal Gallery] and other matters. (National Library of Ireland.)

29 August – Letter from Annie Louisa Swynnerton to Hugh Lane, granting him the academy picture as requested, (National Library of Ireland.)


Aug 29th

Dear Mr Lane

I am so pleased to h… … … which after some delay has been fowarded to me here

I [loced] most gladly comply with your . . . how the Academy … … of St Martin’ Summer but [rest of sentence illegible].

It is a pity that I am away … – there is a picture in my studio “Hebe” for which I am asking £200 a good work – not nude which … is the … objection

St Martins Summer

… I would be a .. to have that picture back for it wants more doing to – and I am so afraid [of it being] injured as the back is dreadfuly …

I do hope it has come to no harm – … the landscape “The Valley of the A..i..” lately shown in the New Gallery … … … be very suitable I think for Dublin … … this picture has new;y bought by the Chantry bequest people – I am asking £100 for it – If you would like that I … another picture as well for Dublin.

I may mention here that a friend of mine has offered to buy my “Oceanid” if it can be well placed in a National Collection – I do not offer this to Dublin because of its nudity & indeed should prefer it to be placed somwhere in England –

– I hope you will come to my studio – no 1A the Avenue 76 Fulham R as soon as I come back in the late Autumn

I should be so glad to see you and we could matters more satisfactorily

Very sincerely yours

Annie L. Swynnerton


11 October – Letter from Annie Swynnerton to Hugh Lane (National Library of Ireland).


Oct 11th 1904

My dear Mr Lane

I am dreadfully ashamed to keep you … … … at last!

Yes you may have St Martins Summer for ,,, Gallery for £60 but may I … [half] the copyright? You see the picture took me three years … … … there is a chance of earning a … more – well one has to live!

You overwhelm me .. … … for my … work – I feel as if you were writing to somebody else – well – the picture I havepromised must wait ,,, a little – … I come to town in February, Oceanid is th ‘Sea Nymph‘ … … you may have for exhibition if I may have it early in the Spring – I want to show it in the New Gallery. The price is not less than £250 – should like £300

I wish you every success with the Gallery… may … protecting the backs of both pictures – … there is always danger to the … of them. I don’t want St Martin’s Summer removed from its frame for … … the surface … … (they will rub the faces … that in some instances I have had to scrape … to … the colours again!

… be left till I can come to it.
I thank you a thousand timeas for the interest you take in my work & on a more … every … me
Sincerely yours
Annie L. Swynnerton
If what I suggest is not feasible you shall still have the picture

NOVEMBERIsabel moves to London (The Guardian, 21 Feb 1933]..


Joseph Swynnerton‘s address given as 27 Clareville Grove, Gloucester Road, London. (Royal Academy Summer Exhibition catalogue.)

Isabel‘s address (on back of painting From a balcony at Perugia, 1911, and in 1929 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition catalogue for a painting called Sunset at Ronda) given as 30 South Vale, Blackheath, London S.E.


MARCH – Letter from Annie to Flora Lion (1878-1958, portrait and occasional landscape artist.) She mentions feeling ‘exiled’ and missing her friends, having moved to Rome in ?1883.

Via Montebello. no 27 / (Augolo di Via Palestro) / Roma. / March 14th.

Dear Flora Lion,

I must write to you a line of thanks now that I have a picture at the Tate. I am sure it was entirely due to you that Mr. Aitken* came to see me with the result that he selects a group of work to be sent to the gallery. When Mr. Sargent heard of this he sent his picture The “Oreads” which the board naturally preferred to the rest. He, it seems, has presented the picture to the Gallery as have a letter to that effect from Mr. Aitken.

[* Charles Aitken, ‘Keeper’ at the Tate Gallery, 1911-1930.]

I do hope that all is well with you & that you have plenty of work these bad times. I shall be very glad to see you again – I miss my artist friends very much out here in Rome, quite exiled, & always your most generous appreciations of any work is very dear to me – now with love think very kind regards to Mr. Armato.

Believe me affect’y yours / Annie L. Swynnerton.

The Via Montebello today (Google Earth).


8 November – Letter from Joseph William Swynnerton to Hugh Lane, offering him the picture ‘Through the Orchard’ and that if Hugh Lane takes it now, Annie Louisa Swynnerton, will promise to do a sketch for him later on, (National Library of Ireland.)

1A The Avenue / 76 Fulham Road / S.W / Nov. 8. 1907 / Dear Mr. Lane

The large picture “Through the Orchard” is well painted in all its parts – pitcher included, but like from …ing Watts it is … work. In the old days £150 was offered for this picture, and we should not sell not under £200.

We could not afford to give you the Tusculum landscape as well, but if you take “Through the Orchard” now my wife promises to do you a sketch later on, which shall represent the new manner of work and be up to date and at the same time be something which she has not left as long by her as to grudge oarting with – which is the case with the Tusculum picture.

We thank you so much for your suggestion about Mrs. Matt[lins] little son, but we think it better to hear from Mrs. Matt[hins] herself, so many people seem to wish to have portraits done and then repent them. In any case my wife thanks you very warmly for your interest in the matter – and hopes you will excuse her not writing herself – she feels unwell – …

Very sincerely from

Joseph W. Swynnerton / over

“Through the Orchard” must be taken down and cleaned Ec.


Annie painted the portrait of Count Valentin Zubov while visiting Salsomaggiore Terme, a town in northern Italy.


FEBRUARYFrederick Swynnerton (Joseph’s brother / Annie’s brother-in-law) writes a long article on Isle of Man archaeology for the journel of the Isle of Man Natural History and Antiquarian Society, demonstrating a strong interest. He wrote other articles over the years for the journal, mainly archaeological, but also notes on children’s rhymes and an ancient tree of the Isle of Man.

< 1890s / 1910s >