ithell colquhoun magician born of nature
All texts copyright Richard Shillitoe

portrait study of lucy cornford


Conté pencil. 15¾ x 17½in. (40 x 44.5cm.) Signed and dated: ‘Colquhoun/37’ lower centre. Inscribed with the name, title and date on the backboard. Provenance Christie’s, 18 April 2007, lot 1021, as 13¾ x 17in. (34.9 x 43.2 cm.) High Road Auctions, London, 27 October 2015, lot 333. Exhibited London, Leva Gallery, 1974, no. 29. Penzance, Newlyn Gallery (Spring), 1975, no. 30. London, Parkin Gallery, 1977, no. 35. London, Gillian Jason Gallery, 1986, no. 53. There are letters to Colquhoun in the Tate archive from the artist and writer Christopher Cornford (1917- 1993) and his mother, Frances (1886-1960), so Colquhoun clearly knew a family of this name. Christopher married Lucy Jameson (1912-1991) but not until 1941. Colquhoun may not have inscribed the backboard until she first exhibited the sketch in 1974, misremembering the date of Lucy’s marriage, or she may have decided to use her married name. Or the sitter may be a completely different person.