Froanna (Portrait of the Artist's Wife) (1937)
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
© The Estate of Mrs G.A. Wyndham Lewis: The Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust,

In 1930, Wyndham Lewis married Gladys Anne Hoskins (1900–79), affectionately known as ‘Froanna’. The couple never had children; Lewis showed little affection for his children born by other women and at least two of these were adopted. Lewis’s past experience, combined with the irregularity of his income and devotion to his work probably provided a practical basis for the couple’s childlessness.

In the 1930s Lewis kept Froanna in the background, and many of his friends were simply unaware of her existence. It seems that Lewis was extraordinarily jealous and protective of his wife, owing to her youth and beauty (she was eighteen years his junior). Froanna was patient and caring toward her husband through financial troubles and his frequent illnesses. She was the model for some of Lewis’s most tender and intimate portraits, as well as a number of characters in his fiction. In contrast to his earlier, rather impersonal portraits, which are purely concerned with external appearance, the portraits of Froanna show a preoccupation with her inner life.