SIR WILLIAM RUSSELL FLINT, R.A., P.R.W.S.
1880 - 1969
signed l.r.: W. RUSSELL FLINT
34 by 49.5 cm., 13½ by 19½ in.
Glazed. the work appears to be in good original condition with strong colour.
Well mounted and within a gilt frame, ready to hang. Unexamined out of frame.
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.
Sotheby's, London, 8 November 1989, lot 213
Richard Green, London, where purchased by the present owner
Olearia depicts Flint's most celebrated model Cecilia Green (1931-2003), the beautiful and intelligent young woman that appears in many of his greatest pictures from 1953 when she was first introduced to the artist. Cecilia's parents were Russian Jews who fled Kiev shortly before the revolution and settled in the east end of London where she spent a childhood marred by the war and long periods of ill-health. Despite her childhood frailty she grew into a determined, confident and strikingly handsome young woman who wanted nothing more than to dance professionally. After a period at dance school she became a member of the London Festival Ballet and attended modelling classes at the London Camera Club. When a childhood ailment recurred and halted her dancing career she decided to become a professional artist's model. From the moment that Flint first saw Cecilia he knew that he had found the model that he had always wanted to paint, a woman who embodied his ideal of feminine beauty. Despite his obvious attraction to her, the relationship between Cecilia and Flint was purely professional and she regarded him as a kindly uncle. She continued to model for Flint until the mid 1960s when she married the art consultant John Simmons and became a model for various advertising campaigns. Her departure from Flint's life left him distraught and he did not mention her once in his autobiography despite the important role she played in his art. Cecilia never spoke of Flint with anything other than a deep regard and affection for a man who treated her gently and paternally. The composition was made into a print, entitled Model For Elegance.