London, South Kensington
12 July 2012
Roger Fry (1866-1934)
Portrait of Viola Tree
signed 'Roger Fry' (lower right)
oil on canvas
38 x 30 in. (96.5 x 76.2 cm.)
Purchased by the present owner at the 1975 exhibition.
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London, Gallery Edward Harvane, A Homage to Duncan Grant: on his Ninetieth Birthday in Company with a few Friends: Vanessa Bell, Roger Fry, Simon Bussy, Edward Wolfe, Keith Baynes, Edward Le Bas, February - March 1975, no. 28.
Viola (1884-1938) was a daughter of Herbert Beerbohm Tree, the great actor and manager; she was an actress and writer and sister of Iris Tree (also painted by Fry and many other artists). Viola was liked by and entertained in Bloomsbury and had a book published at the Woolfs' Hogarth Press.
Fry wrote to his daughter Pamela Fry on 9th December 1917: 'I couldn't write yesterday as I had two sitters, Viola Tree all the morning and Lalla [Vandervelde] aftenoon. Both portraits promise rather well - Viola an incredible likeness which almost frightens me' D. Sutton, Letters of Roger Fry, Vol. 2, London, 1972, pp. 421-422.
We are very grateful to Richard Shone for his assistance in cataloguing this lot and lot 448.
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