L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, April 29, 2016

Five portraits of his wife, Pauline - Sir James Gunn

Pauline Waiting, 1939.
Pauline in a Yellow Dress, 1944.
Pauline in the Mcleod Tartan, circa 1946.
My Wife, circa 1933.
Pauline, Wife of the Artist, 1930.


Sir James Gunn RA, also known as Sir Herbert James Gunn (30 June 1893, Glasgow - 30 December 1964, London), British portrait and landscape painter. He began drawing lessons at the age of five. He then studied at the Glasgow School of Art, the Edinburgh College of Art and, beginning in 1911, the Académie Julian in Paris. He left Paris at the outbreak of the First World War and initially joined the Artists Rifles. He subsequently received a commission in the 10th Scottish Rifles and saw active service in France. He began professionally as a landscape painter, but from 1929 he devoted himself to portrait painting. Working in a solid, forthright style, he received commissions from many leading figures of the day including eminent politicians and soldiers, academics, judges, bankers, the aristocracy, and actors. He is probably best known for his 1953-54 coronation portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, which was widely reproduced at the time and is part of the Royal Collection, hanging in the Garter Throne Room at Windsor Castle. He was elected President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in 1953, a post he held until his death. He was elected to the Royal Academy as a full academician in 1961 and was knighted for services to painting in 1963. He died the following year at the age of seventy-one.

He married for the first time in 1919. He and his wife, Gwendoline, had three daughters; they divorced in 1927 after she ran off with one of her husband's sitters, the millionaire banker, Sir Arthur Whinney. He married again, two years later, to Pauline Miller with whom he had a son and another daughter. Pauline - the subject of the portraits featured here - died in 1950, after a long illness, only forty-nine.

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