Leicester Galleries, London, where acquired by Laurence Olivier, 28th December 1943
Notley Abbey Inventory, April 1948, p. 23, Guest’s Bedroom Blue, 'A ditto (crayon) Head of a Lady, by Marie Lauseane (sic), framed and glazed’, (The Vivien Leigh Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum, London THM/433/6/1).
Marie Laurencin was a French painter, printmaker and stage designer. A member of the Parisian avant-garde, she knew and worked alongside both Braque and Picasso in the early 20th Century, going on to develop her own very individual style. She is best known for her sensitively rendered portraits, such as the present work.
Executed on cream wove paper, not laid down and glued to the backing board at all four edges. There is a pinhole to the centre of the upper edge. There is some staining to all four edges associated with previous mounting. There is a very small area of abrasion to the paper surface towards the upper part of the right edge, and there are some very minor spots of foxing in places. This work is in overall good condition. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."