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Dame Freya Madeline Stark

1 of 6 portraits of Dame Freya Madeline Stark

Dame Freya Madeline Stark

by Herbert Arnould Olivier
oil on canvas, 1923
24 3/8 in. x 21 7/8 in. (619 mm x 555 mm)
Given by Dame Freya Madeline Stark, 1981
Primary Collection
NPG 5465


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Freya's early years were spent abroad, where she learned several languages. When her parents parted, her mother set up a factory in Italy making baskets and rugs. Aged twelve, Freya's long hair became entangled in one of the machines, tearing away her right ear and some of her scalp. Painted in a demure 'aesthetic' dress, her hair is characteristically pulled over her right ear to hide a childhood injury.

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