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John Iris Tree

Iris Beerbohm Tree by Augustus John

London Art Week 2020
We are delighted to display this stunning portrait of poet Iris Beerbohm Tree to the public for the first time in one hundred years. Painted by Augustus John, c. 1920, few sitters could claim to rival him in their disregard for social convention, but Iris Beerbohm Tree was one such rival. Tree first met Augustus John in the year after she arrival at the Slade. The pair met at a Thursday soirée thrown by the society hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938). Tree arrived wearing a dress adorned with blue and green ribbons that she had designed herself, mismatching stockings - one blue and the other green - and a wide brimmed hat without a crown. Of John, she would later recall in an unpublished essay In Praise of Augustus John how; '…at first meeting I experienced an immediate intimacy as if I was part of his landscape which has remained in my vision ever since. It has rounded hills, pale...
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We are delighted to display this stunning portrait of poet Iris Beerbohm Tree to the public for the first time in one hundred years. Painted by Augustus John, c. 1920, few sitters could claim to rival him in their disregard for social convention, but Iris Beerbohm Tree was one such rival.
 
Tree first met Augustus John in the year after she arrival at the Slade. The pair met at a Thursday soirée thrown by the society hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938). Tree arrived wearing a dress adorned with blue and green ribbons that she had designed herself, mismatching stockings - one blue and the other green - and a wide brimmed hat without a crown. Of John, she would later recall in an unpublished essay In Praise of Augustus John how; "…at first meeting I experienced an immediate intimacy as if I was part of his landscape which has remained in my vision ever since. It has rounded hills, pale or slate-blue skies, grey rocks. Its people were angels dressed as peasants, women who baked crusty bread […] There was lavender in the coarse linen and brown or blue jugs of thick cream. Jars of wine were served under their vines to scowling men who drank into the night of love-making, singing, dancing. But there's another point more difficult to define except romantically for it was essentially romantic."
 
To view the portrait, click here.

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    500 Years of British Art