Tuesday, June 21, 2011

George Frank Miles - Lillie Langtry

Price Realized £11,250

signed and dated 'FRANK MILES 1884' (lower right)
oil on canvas
30 x 25 in. (75.9 x 63.5 cm.)

The actress Lillie Langtry, sometime mistress of Edward, Prince of Wales, (later King Edward VII), recalled in a newspaper interview in later life:

'It was through Lord Ranelagh and the painter Frank Miles that I was first introduced to London society. I went to London and was brought out by my friends. Among the most enthusiastic of these was Mr Frank Miles, the artist. I learned afterwards that he saw me one evening at the theatre, and tried in vain to discover who I was. He went to his clubs and among his artist friends declaring he had seen a beauty, and he described me to everybody he knew, until one day one of his friends met me and he was duly introduced. Then Mr Miles came and begged me to sit for my portrait. I consented, and when the portrait was finished he sold it to Prince Leopold. From that time I was invited everywhere and made a great deal of by many members of the royal family and nobility. After Frank Miles I sat for portraits to Millais and Burne-Jones and now Frith is putting my face in one of his great pictures.'

Miles, a companion of Oscar Wilde, painted several society ladies at the turn of the century, and was artist in chief to the magazine Life. The first recorded owner of the portrait, Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany, was a son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. He died young, of haemophilia.


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