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From the collection of Lady Ottoline Morrell. By descent to the present owner.
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Charles Conder was a personal friend of Lady Ottoline, of whom he painted at least two portraits. They had met in 1906 and it was through Conder that she met Augustus John. Conder was a great admirer of Balzac, and for a fancy-dress ball given by Conder and his wife Stella in 1906, he played his favourite villain, Rastignac (Miranda Seymour, Ottoline Morrell pp. 71-73).