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A Study of Honore Pelle’s Portrait Bust of King Charles II
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A Study of Honore Pelle’s Portrait Bust of King Charles II

Measurements: Overall: 54cm (21.25in) x 43.5cm (17in)

£1650

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Red chalk, pen and ink and grey wash on paper. Signed ‘C. Dodgson’ lower right for Catherine Campbell Dodgson (1883-1954). Pin holes visible. Image size: 37.5cm (14.5in) x 27.5cm (11in). Framed and glazed.

Frances Catherine Campbell Dodgson née Spooner (1883-1954), was born in Oxford eldest daughter of W.A. Spooner, Warden of New College, and the eponymous author of 'Spoonerisms'. She trained at the Ruskin School, Oxford, the Royal Academy Schools and the Slade. In 1913 she married Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum, who was a distant cousin of Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll. She exhibited an oil portrait of another cousin by marriage, Dean Inge, at the Royal Academy in 1923 but largely devoted herself to home life until her husband’s retirement in 1932.

The present sketch of Pelle’s exuberant bust of ‘The Merry Monarch’, in the Victoria & Albert (V&A 239-1881) combines Dodgson’s flair for portrait drawing and the flamboyant sketching style that gained her critical acclaim in two exhibitions at Colnaghi’s in Bond Street in 1936 and 1939. Her natural modesty however inclined her to believe that any critical success was due to her husband’s connections in artistic and academic circles. Proof to the contrary resides in the fact that several ‘excellent examples of her elegant drawings of German rococo sculpture’, are now in the Ashmolean Museum as is her drawing of the bust by Edward Pierce of Sir Christopher Wren. Her entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography further refers to her drawing of Honore Pelle’s bust of Charles II.
 

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