Lot 12
  • 12

Stanley Cursiter, C.B.E, P.R.S.W., R.S.A.

25,000 - 35,000 GBP
40,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Stanley Cursiter, C.B.E, P.R.S.W., R.S.A.
  • A Summer Night
  • signed and dated l.l.: Stanley Cursiter 1923
  • oil on canvas
  • 61 by 51 cm., 24 by 20 in.


Purchased in 1923 by a private collector, thence by descent to the present owner

Catalogue Note

A Summer Night depicts the elegant drawing room of 11 Royal Circus in Edinburgh where Cursiter and his wife Phyllis lived during the 1920s. Phyllis Edna Cursiter (née Houston) was a talented musician and her piano can be seen in the background of the present picture, a sophisticated study of lamplight reflecting from the highly-polished surface of a table and white painted woodwork. The young model is lit from below by the soft light and turns to smile at the spectator as she moves forward with the handle of a little silver-bowl of bon-bons dangling from her finger-tip. Her bobbed hair-style is very a-la-mode and her lace and taffeta dress is a beautiful display of drapery painting.

The model was Poppy Low, Cursiter's favourite sitter, who first appears in Cursiter's work in 1921 when he painted her in Roberta (Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery), Black, White and Silver (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool) and Girl with a Jug (Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow). She wore the same dress in the present picture as for Girl in White of the previous year (Sotheby's, 29 September 2010, lot 75) and was dressed in red silk for the contemporary Taffeta exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy. In 1923 she also modelled for The Seamstress (private collection) with Mrs Cursiter and in 1924 she was depicted with Cursiter's sister Margaret in House of Cards (Tankerness House and Museum, Orkney). Perhaps the last depiction of Poppy was with Phyllis and Cursiter himself in Chez Nous of 1924 (National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).