Private Held

Hynes, Gladys

(1888 – 1958)

Portrait bust of Anthony Butts, 1925

Signed and dated on base

12 6/10 x 8 2/3 (32 x 22 cm)

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Family of Anthony Butts; private collection

Anthony Butts (1900 – 1941). Painter, writer and Dilettante, companion of William Plomer, and fictionalised by him in Museum Pieces, 1952. vividly described by Stephen Spender in World Within World, 1951. 

On Butts’ appearance, Spender wrote: ‘He had eyes of a china blue which stared out of their facade of a slapstick face, with a solemnity which would suddenly collapse into laughter’. Spender added: ‘He was one of those extremely talented people who do not know how to direct their gifts. During one promising period of life he became a painter, and was for a time a pupil of Sickert.’ Spender, reproduced by University of Berkeley Press, 1966, p. 150. 

In her biography of Elizabeth Bowen, Patricia Laurence notes that Butts painted the novelist’s portrait in 1938. Laurence writes that Bowen ‘found him fascinating and admired his wildness and unique way of talking, particularly about his family: he was descended from Thomas Butts, a patron of William Blake. After Woolf’s suicide in March, 1941, and that of Butts’ two months later, Bowen confided to Plomer that they were the only two people she missed’.  

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THE ARTIST

Hynes, Gladys

1888 – 1958

Gladys Hynes was born in Indore, India, to an Irish Catholic
family, with whom she emigrated to London in 1891, later
studying at the London School of Art in Earl’s Court. After her
family moved to Penzance in 1906, she attended the Stanhope
Forbes School of Painting, Newlyn, She returned to London in
1919, where she settled in Hampstead.

Hynes was a supporter of the Irish Republican cause (her
correspondence with Desmond Fitzgerald is the subject of an article
by Ed Vulliamy in The Guardian 26.03.2016). A member of the
CWSS, she was also an impassioned campaigner for women’s rights,
often challenging the social construction of gender and sexuality in
her work. Many of the paintings she produced during WWII were
shaped by her mainly pacifist convictions.

During her career, Hynes contributed to Roger Fry’s (1866′
1934) Omega Workshops, illustrated books ‘ including the folio
edition of Ezra Pound’s A Draft of the Cantos nos. XVII to XXVII
(1928) ‘ undertook sculpture commissions and theatre designs.
She exhibited with the RA, the LG, the International Society of
Sculptors, the Paris Salon and at the 1924 Venice Biennale.

With thanks to artbiogs.co.uk

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