A painter primarily of portraits and landscapes, Sir William Llewellyn proved one of more versatile figures of his day, combining the remarkable talents of both a gifted artist and an accomplished administrator.
Born in Cirencester, he studied first at the Royal College of Art, London under Sir Edward Poynter and then in Paris under Fernand Cormon, Jules Lefebvre and Gabriel Ferrier. From 1884 he exhibited at the Royal Academy, the New Gallery, the Grosvenor Gallery and the Royal Society of British Artists.
Elected President of the Royal Academy from 1928-38, Llewellyn introduced an important feature to this institution by organising a new series of loan exhibitions. The most popular loans were those of Dutch and Italian Art, whilst the loans of Persian and Chinese Art indicate his unique and original outlook. Between 1937-40, he was also appointed a Trustee of the National Gallery.
As a portraitist, his career comprised some extremely important commissions including a Royal State Portrait of Queen Mary in 1910 and the United Service Club of the Queen in 1913.
The Flower Arranger is thought out carefully in that the elements of the composition not only describe an activity but they also illustrate the lady's elevated taste and elegance. The objects ranging from Chinese Export porcelain bowls on the table to the ink drawing on the wall attest to her interest in contemporary fashion. Her choices of color, both expressed in varied flowers as well as in the table cloth and the lavender wall paint confirm her well combined preferences, as well as the subtlety of her personality. Although the flower arrangement is yet far from completion one can only imagine the grace it will posses.