Plate 6, Hussey, op cit. Oil. “In the possession of Mrs. Wilson.” Already shown (from a different source) here.
A Twlight Interior, 1909
The last four images (if you are viewing posts chronologically) – the three of schoolgirls and The Student – show GC’s very different styles in 1880, 1889, 1909 and (perhaps) 1932.
The best of these pictures, for me, is The Student. It has the fine sobriety which comes into some of his work around 1908-9, which could be said to mark the beginning of late Clausen and even the beginning of the truest Clausen, although for the purpose of the categories shown on the right I take “late” as beginning around 1918. The 1932 picture (if that is the date) is not in that manner: there are no simple divisions into periods.
The market hasn’t yet understood late Clausen, as is shown by the dramatically different prices fetched by pictures in the 1889 style (even more than the 1880 style) compared with the “late” work.
Here is Meg as a mature student, aged around 24. There can be no doubt that she was the first of our schoolgirls if you compare it with the painting of 20 years earlier. The only colour version I have is low-resolution.
I’ll add a colour image later. The space between the artist and her
(plaster) model reminds one of an Annunciation.
The Student is the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in the Royal Pavilion. It was shown at the Royal Academy in 1909. Meg was shown in Twilight: Interior or Reading by Lamplight in the same year. We’ve also met her in The Breakfast Table and in the portrait I call Unfinished Meg.
More schoolgirls, though rather mature ones, with milkmaid and flower-seller, from 1880, at the Yale Center for British Art. This is one of a series of pictures of women in London streets done mainly in 1880 and early 1881, though we see one even in the watercolour Flora of 1883. The series includes Winter Afternoon, London and In the Street, and the major statement in this vein, A Spring Morning, Haverstock Hill. They look straight at us in a dead-pan way, painted by a still single young man. He married in the summer of 1881 and left London. By 1882 the interest would have been entirely with the milkmaid or, in Spring
Morning, with the road-diggers.
This picture, like Spring Morning, is good classroom material. What do we see here? What does this picture tell us about Victorian social divisions? Illustrated in Judith Flanders’s The Victorian House, Harper Collins, London, 2003.