(Figure on Sofa) - Le Roy Leveson Laurent Joseph De Maistre

September 4, 2018

Le Roy Leveson Laurent Joseph De Maistre

(Figure on Sofa)

48.0 × 59.0 cm

pastel on paper

Roy de Maistre's studio played an integral part in his subjects, frequently depicting interiors that offer a visual glimpse into the life of the artist. Heather Johnson notes in her monograph, 'One of de Maistre's greatest works of art, and the one most appreciated by friends and relatives, and acquaintances, was the creation of his Eccleston Street studio. De Maistre did not believe the common wisdom that artists should make and work in a mess. His studio was not simply a work place, but also a domestic and private space. John Rothenstein referred to it as the theatre of his actions and the repository of his whole life, an environment of tenebrous beauty that was still informal and comfortable.' 1. Some of his finest works held in public institutions are derived from scenes of his various studios, the present work being no exception. The ambiguous figure is perhaps an intimate portrait of long-time friend and patron, Lady Ashbourne. 'The sitter, an older woman with grey hair, would have placed herself on the sofa and de Maistre would have made drawings and sketches.. The Woman is dressed in a blue buttoned vest with dark blue sleeves. De Maistre was an early mentor of both Francis Bacon and Patrick White and the large, high-backed sofa on which the woman rests was designed by Bacon' 2 and remained in de Maistre's possession until his death. 1. Heather Johnson, Roy de Maistre, The English Years 1930 - 1968, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1995, p. 48. 2. Victoria Gurvich, 'Work of the week: Reclining Figure, Roy de Maistre', The Age, Melbourne, 4 June 2005