Plate 6, Hussey, op cit. Oil. “In the possession of Mrs. Wilson.” Already shown (from a different source) here.
A Twlight Interior, 1909
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.
Back to the late 1880s. This was sold at Christie’s a year or two ago and is the kind of Clausen that fetches the money. I think (not all agree) that this is his daughter Meg (1884-1946), though it might be the only time he showed her as a child outside the family or not in a pure portrait.
Here is GC’s self-portrait of 1918, now at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. If you look at the last oil painting I’ve shown, In the Orchard, it’s hard to believe that this is by the same artist. To a non-GC-trained eye, it may look dull. His portraits could be conventional (one or two of the late portraits look like boardroom paintings), but this looks fresh and modern to me. It is almost the portrait of a scientist.
Comparing it with the earlier picture, we can see what a long journey he was on. Comparing it with contemporaneous landscapes, we can see what he is taking from them.
I categorise it on the right as GC late, and I take that boundary as, roughly, 1918. This is an early example of that dry paint he used for his pictures of the 20s, with the canvas showing through.
On reflection, I would bet that that photograph is from 1908, and that the letter Agnes is looking at is one confirming GC’s election to the Royal Academy. The facial expressions suggest this, especially Kitty’s charming look of pride at her father. Someone will have asked: “Where’s the camera?” A Brownie, probably, if it had a flash.
Notice the switch hanging from the electric light over the table.
The picture with which GC returned to the Royal Academy in 1891 after his secession was called Portrait Group, but he cut it to exclude the unbalancing figure of his oldest child Arthur. It’s now called The Breakfast Table.
It shows breakfast at Widdington in Essex just after he moved there.
Here’s the revised version. In the foreground are his daughters, Meg, left, and Kit, right. His younger sons, Hugh and Raymond John, were babies and aren’t shown. On the table are a loaf of bread, flowers and a letter. Agnes presides. Behind her is the chest GC had bought on one of his visits to Holland in the 1870s.
In the next post is a photograph of a breakfast at 61 Carlton Hill in London, around 1909. On that table are a loaf of bread and flowers. Agnes is presiding and is looking with amusement at, we assume, a letter. Kit glances at her father with filial respect to see what he thinks. Click on the images to enlarge.
The Breakfast Table, 1891-2