Lot 11
  • 11

Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, R.S.A., R.S.W.

40,000 - 60,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, R.S.A., R.S.W.
  • May Easter
  • signed u.r.: FCB Cadell
  • oil on canvas
  • 76.2 by 63.5 cm., 30 by 25 in.


Sotheby's, London, 24 April, 1979, lot 556
Sotheby's, Edinburgh, 29 August, 2007, lot 128 where purchased by the present owner

Catalogue Note

There has been a good deal of speculation regarding the puzzling title of this portrait, “May Easter”. Does it refer to the name of the sitter? Is it a portrait of “May”, at Eastertime?  Nothing remains on the framing or the picture itself to confirm the title; equally no reference to a sitter of this name in either Cadell’s picture register or letters has been located. Is it possible that erroneously two words have been added together and been appropriated as the title? 

However, when compared with other Cadell paintings, there are many striking similarities between the sitter here and Bethia Don Wauchope (see the catalogue entry for lot 29): the distinctive bobbed red hair and gold hoop earrings, thin red lips, and angular features. Though Don Wauchope would have  been in her 50s when this picture was painted, the impression is of a much younger woman. Perhaps flattered by Cadell's skilful technique, she sits serene and confident, gazing out of the right side of the picture space, resplendent in her rich black and gold Chinese head scarf.