A Captivating Original Oil Portrait of a Lady by Annie M. Arnold, 1937


Origin: English
Period: Twentieth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: 1937
Width: 3.25 inches
Height: 7.5 inches

Painted in oils, on board, depicting a standing lady in three quarter profile, with bright red lips, wearing a black dress and leaning against what appears to be the edge of a console table. Behind is a simple grey wash background, the inclusion of a couple of white lilies at the right edge, imbuing the portrait with a simplicity and elegance. The portrait is signed in monogram “A.M.A”, and dated 1937.

The subdued palette, including whites, greys, and blacks; her black dress; the lilies; and the translucent quality of her face (created using highlights of blue), all suggest mourning. When one considers this interpretation, the painting acquires a more tender, sensitive quality.

The painting is glazed and framed in its original hammered metal frame, which is backed with an attractive (though rather worn) piece of silk embroidery. Also on the reverse is a manuscript label which reads  “4 Twenty One, by Annie M. Arnold, The Cottage, Hampstead, NW3”.

Unassuming and sensitive, though a well executed and pleasing portrait, that does have clear art deco influences, seen in the monogram, and the rather linear treatment of the subject.