Saturday, September 18, 2010

Arthur Hughes - Lucy Hill

42 by 26 1/2 cm., 16 1/2 by 10 3/8 in.

signed and dated l.l.: ARUTHUR HUGHES, titled and dated u.r.: Lucy Hill. Oct 1888

oil on canvas laid on panel

Lucy Hill and her family were life-long friends of Arthur Hughes. He also painted her, along with three of her siblings, in 1866 (The Children of George Birkbeck Hill, Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham). Hughes visited William Bell Scott at Penkill Castle from 7 to 21 October 1887, and the present portrait was finished soon after his return to Wandle Bank. Lucy was the great-niece of Sir Rowland Hill, post office reformer and inventor of the penny post. Her father, George Birkbeck Hill, edited the Letters of Dante Gabriel Rossetti to William Allingham (Fisher Unwin, 1897) and she herself edited The Letters of George Birkbeck Hill (Arnold, 1906). Lucy's husband-to-be was related to an Editor of The Times, and another of his relatives founded a maritime law-firm known as Crumps.

Attached to the reverse of the panel is a note written by a subsequent owner which reads: "Inscribed on an original label on this picture was 'To Mary Manson from Lucy Crump 1864-1887 1938. Contre mauvaise fortune bon couer'. Lucy and Charles Crump were neighbours of the Mansons. Arthur Hughes (1832-1915) is the artist. The subject is understood to be Lucy as a young girl. The Crumps had work by J.B. Manson (director of the Tate Gallery, 1930-8). Mary was his eldest daughter and taught music at the North London Collegiate School."

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