When Lewis returned to London after the First World War he was determined to move on from the geometrical abstractions of his Vorticist period - they now seemed to him ‘bleak and empty’. He set about perfecting his draughtsmanship, mainly in studies of the human figure. Though critical of the ‘classical revival’ in Paris, his own drawing style became progressively more classical, delicate, and reminiscent of Ingres. Like several of his other portrait drawings from this period, the present work is heightened by pale washes. Proof that he had not abandoned the abstract inventiveness of his best Vorticist work is found in the decorative treatment of the sitter’s dress and décolleté - in some respects the true subject of the drawing.
We are very grateful to Professor Paul Edwards for preparing this catalogue entry.