European and British Art, Part II

European and British Art, Part II

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 150. Miss Monica Boyd.

Property from an Important Private Collection

George Spencer Watson, R.A., R.O.I.

Miss Monica Boyd

Lot Closed

July 13, 02:48 PM GMT


20,000 - 30,000 GBP

Lot Details


Property from an Important Private Collection

George Spencer Watson, R.A., R.O.I.


1869 - 1933

Miss Monica Boyd

signed and dated G. SPENCER WATSON / 09 lower left

oil on canvas

Unframed: 132.5 by 102cm., 52 by 40in.

Framed: 156 by 125.7cm., 61½ by 49½in.

Acquired at the artist’s memorial exhibition of 1934;

Jane Roberts and Max Rutherston, London, by 1991;

By whom sold, London, Christie's, 23 November 2004, lot 103;

Where purchased by the present owner.

London, Artist's memorial exhibition, The Fine Art Society, 1934, no. 34;

London, Royal Academy, 1909, no. 733;

Liverpool, Liverpool Academy, 1909, no. 827;

Paris Salon, 1911;

Dresden, Kunstsalon Emil Richter, 1912;

Dorset County Museum and Southampton Art Gallery, George Spencer Watson, 1981–2, no. 2.

George Spencer Watson was one of the leading portrait painters of the Edwardian period and after. His portraiture has a glamorous and elegant quality, which was both modern and reminiscent of Renaissance precedents. His A Lady in Black of 1922 and Hilda and Maggie, a beautiful portrait of his wife and dog painted in 1911, are now at Tate, whilst other fine examples of his work can be found in the public collections of Bournemouth, Liverpool, Wolverhampton, Preston, Plymouth and in the National Gallery of Canada.

Miss Monica Boyd was regularly exhibited during the artist’s lifetime and remained in his collection - it is likely therefore that it was not a commissioned portrait. It seems that it may be a depiction of a professional model painted to demonstrate the artist’s fashionable elegance rather than a mere depiction of a Society sitter. The theatricality and confidence of Miss Boyd’s pose and costume suggests that she may have been an actress or singer, although her identity remains a mystery.