(Norwich 1829 - London 1904)
Portrait of May Gillilan
Signed F. Sandys in pencil on part of the original sheet, cut out and pasted onto the reverse of the frame.
377 x 285 mm. (14 7/8 x 11 1/4 in.)
Drawn in 1882, this fine portrait drawing was one of several works commissioned from Sandys by the sitter’s father William Gillilan (d.1925) of Kensington in London. Gillilan owned a number of late pictures by the artist, including The Tangled Skein of c.1870 (Ferens Art Gallery, Kingston upon Hull) and Poppies of 1898 (The National Trust, Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton), as well as a final version of Proud Maisie, dated 1902 (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa). He also commissioned portraits of his family from Sandys, of which the present sheet is the earliest in date. This drawing was originally created as a double portrait, incorporating a likeness of May Gillilan’s younger sister Winnie at the right of the composition, but was trimmed at the right and bottom edges and reduced to a single portrait sometime between 1997 and 1998. The drawing originally hung in the dining room of the Gillilan home at 6 Palace Gate in Kensington, where it is recorded in a photograph taken in May 1891. Sandys also produced drawn and painted portraits of William Gillilan in 1886 and his wife Mary in 1885, as well as a drawing in coloured chalks of their third and youngest daughter Christabel in 1887.
Thence by descent
Anonymous sale, Salisbury, Woolley and Wallis, 15 April 1996, lot 85
Anonymous sale, London, Bonhams Knightsbridge, 19 March 1997, lot 106
The Maas Gallery, London, in 1998