by Ernest Procter
oil on millboard, 1929
12 5/8 in. x 10 1/4 in. (321 mm x 262 mm)
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This portraitback to top
A Bradford-born composer of choral and orchestral works, Delius's success was established in Germany before his merits were recognised, largely due to Sir Thomas Beecham, in Britain. For this portrait Proctor sketched the artist listening to a rehearsal for the Delius festival held at the Queen's Hall in West London in November 1929. It is a study for the larger painting in the collection of the Royal Albert Hall which shows the composer in his wheelchair. The use of a simulated rosewood frame is likely to a response to the relaxation in 1920 of the rule at the Royal Academy that all exhibitors use gilt frames.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 191
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 191
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 172
- Simon, Jacob, The Art of the Picture Frame: Artists, Patrons and the Framing of Portraits in Britain, 1997 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 8 November 1996 - 9 February 1997), p. 81
Events of 1929back to top
Current affairsThe first election held under universal suffrage is a victory for Labour. Ramsay Macdonald returned for his second term as Prime Minster, and appointed Margaret Grace Bondfield as the first woman Cabinet Minister.
Art and scienceTwo classic books about the First World War are published: All Quiet on the Western Front, by war veteran, Erich Maria Remarque, tells of the horrors of war and the returning German soldiers' feelings of detachment from civilian life; while Robert Grave's autobiography Goodbye to All That, aimed to describe the author's experiences of the war so that they 'need never be thought about again'.
InternationalThe 24th October 1929 becomes known as Black Thursday when the US Stock Exchange Collapses and millions are lost. The event was the start of the Wall Street Crash, which in turn contributed towards the Great Depression: a major international recession that lasted through most of the 1930s.
See this portrait
On display in Room 31 at the National Portrait Gallery