A vibrant portrait of Phyllis Harmar by British artist, Fairlie Harmar (1876-1945). This interesting depiction is full of expression and captures the sitter’s character with skill and vigour.
Fairlie Harmar hailed from Weymouth and studied at the highly regarded Slade School of Art under Henry Tonks and Fred Brown. She exhibited widely in Britain and throughout Europe including at the Royal Academy and in Paris. Her work is held in several public collections, such as the Ashmolean Museum, Birmingham Museum, Manchester City Galleries, and the Imperial War Museum.
In 1932, she married the 7th Viscount Harberton while living in France. However, from newspaper reports, it seems that she was reluctant to publicly adopt her new title.
“Please do not call me Lady Harberton. I never want to use a title. I have always been known as Madame Harmar or as Fairlie Harmar.”
And her wishes were to keep the marriage a secret.
“I cannot imagine how our secret leaked out. The only person I told was a woman who looks after my house in France and a very close friend in England."
Several of her works have appeared at the leading auction houses:
The painting is signed in the lower right.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 23” x 26” / 59cm x 66cm
Year of creation: c. 1930
Condition: Good. Craquelure but the paint layer is stable.
Artist’s auction highlight: £4,200 achieved for ‘Interior of Ramridge House’ at Christie’s in 1988.