Sir Gerald Festus Kelly K.C.V.O., P.R.A., R.H.A. (1879-1972) study for 'The incantation: Ma Seyn Mé pose X'
Oil on canvas, inscribed 'Ma Seyn Mé: pose X' (on the stretcher), numbered 'B.f.60 (a)' (on the reverse), further inscribed and numbered 'Study for The Incantation Ma Seyn Mé Pose X. B.f. 60a' (on the edge of the canvas) and further inscribed and numbered 'S.183. 22¿ x 13Ω' (on the reverse of the frame), the canvas — 21.3/4in. (55.3 cm) x 13.1/8in. (33.3 cm); overall — 26.1/4in. (66.5 cm) x 17.3/4in. (45 cm).
Of Irish heritage, Gerald Festus Kelly was born in London. Upon moving to Paris to study in 1900, he was introduced to Monet, Degas, Sickert, Renoir, Gauguin, Cezanne and Sargent, the latter two having a strong infuence on his early portraiture. Kelly experienced a failed love afair in 1908, and partly in reaction to this, sailed to Burma, where he became captivated by the landscape, people, and dancers; the latter inspired an important series in the artist's oeuvre, compatible withthe exoticism and rich palette he so admired in
Gauguin's work. His friend, Somerset Maugham observed that 'his Burmese dancers.... have a strange impenetrability. Their gestures
are enigmatic and very signifcant. They are charming, and there is something curiously erratic in their manner; with a sure instinct, and with a more defnite feeling for decoration, than is possible in a portrait, Mr Kelly has given us the character of the East and we of our generation see it'.
Condition: no obvious issues.