PROPERTY OF A LADY
Having painted Tony’s aunt, McEvoy was a natural choice for a family portrait of the Gandarillas family. Madame Gandarillas was a striking figure, described by the classical pianist Arthur Rubinstein as a 'lovely, very elegant young woman' (quoted in Andrew W. Moore, The Stylemakers, 2010, p.26), which McEvoy captures powerfully here. A noticeable absence in the family portrait is Tony himself. Originally he stood to the side of Madame Gandarillas but was painted out not long after McEvoy finished the work on account of Tony’s scandalous lifestyle. As described by Sebastian Faulks in The Fatal Englishman: Three Short Lives, Tony ‘was exhaustingly, indefatigably social: after parties, he loved food, drink, opium, gambling, travel, art and young men' (p.11). Indeed one of his significant relationships was with the charming but vulnerable English modernist painter, Christopher Wood, who became Tony's curio and protégé. With their marriage broken down, Madame Gandarillas was having a sporadic affair with the English art critic and Bloomsbury group member, Clive Bell.
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