|Description: We offer a signed oil painting on canvas by Sir Gerald Kelly. The painting is 21 ¼” x 25 ½” in a gessoed and gilded frame to: 24 ½” x 29”. It is inscribed along the lower margin “To W.H. Clay Controcene [?] from Gerald Kelly.” A stamp on verso indicates a French- made canvas. Kelly painted the Pont Marie Bridge in 1909, though this piece is undated. With a studied painterly competence a monumental tree casts dappled shadows along the banks of the Seine. The Pont Marie foot bridge is positively sun soaked, light gleams off the stone arches; the painting seems to be lit from within. Item #FA00175.
Sir Gerald Festus Kelly RA (1879-1972) was a leading 20th century British artist with no formal training. In 1901 he moved to Paris, immersing himself in the cultural climate; he befriended the likes of John Singer Sargent, Sommerset Maugham and reconnected with his Cambridge alumni Aleister Crowley (who married Kelly’s sister, Rose Edith Kelly). At the suggestion of Maugham, Kelly traveled to Burma, where he would paint a series of portraits of Burmese women that became his most famous body of work. He continued his travels onward to Spain, South America and South Africa. Kelly was a founding member of the Modern Portrait Painters Society. He was Knighted in 1945.
Condition: The canvas is in good untouched condition with some scattered craquelure, especially at the top stretcher edge. The ornate frame has suffered considerable losses, notably the top right corner.