Figure 1.--This is one of Dorothy Colles portraits of children. It is unidentified and we do not know when it was painted. One curious aspect is the checked shirt. Not only were they not that common in Britain, but they are very terdious to paint.
The English artist Dorothy Colles (1917-2003) worked in oil, pastel and pencil. She is particularly remembered for her portraits of children. She was born in Cairo, Egypt, and studied at the
Westminster School of Art before World War II with John Farleigh, Bernard Meninsky and Mark Gertler. She not only did children's portraits, but wrote a book about painting children
Dorothy was born in Cairo, Egypt, during World Sar I. Egypt at the time was a British protectorate. I know nothing about her childhood at this time.
Colles studied at the Westminster School of Art before World War II with John Farleigh, Bernard Meninsky and Mark Gertler.
Dorothy between 1940-45 she served in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in the United Kingdom and the Middle East.
After the end of the War, Colles worked in Egypt for the Egyptian Exploration society and for the Jordanian government before returning to London.
Colles back in England began doing freelance work. She said that the pastelists such as Chardin, Degas, La Tour and Angelica Kaufmann and the draughtsmen Augustus John, Rubens and Ingres were influences. Colles was a member of the Pastel Society - she also exhibited at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Royal Academy of Arts. In 1962 she had a solo show at Leighton House. Colles also did some illustrations. She did the illustrations for a Herom edition on Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland : Through the Looking-Glass and Other Writings. Colles' illustrations were based on John Tenniel's original illustrations.
She wrote Portraying Children (1953) and with Heather Child Christian Symbols Ancient and Modern (1970).
Her co-author Heather Child was an artist in her own right. She was also a gifted calligrapher. Child was a life long companion. They lived at Petersfield, Hampshire. <>br>
The portait here is a good example of her work with children. The child is unidentified, but is presumably an English boy. We do not know when it was painted. One curious aspect is the checked shirt. Not only were they not that common in Britain, but they are very terdious to paint. While the clothing is a little curious, she did a wonderful job of painting the boy's face.
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