EDMUND DULAC Autograph letter Signed.
French born British artist and illustrator.
ALS 1p. 72 Ladbroke Road, Holland Park. January 12th 1917. To "Madame" [Florence Pearl Faithfull, Lady Dilke].
"I had an interview yesterday with Sir Charles Dilke who wishes me to paint your portrait in watercolours, and I am writing to say how delighted I am at the prospect. Sir Charles very interestingly suggested a scheme including Australian birds with coloured plumage, which greatly appeals to me, and I am looking forward to the pleasure of meeting you. Sir Charles tells me that you may come to town next week and that you will write to make an appointment when we can arrange for a few sittings. I beg to remain Madam, yours respectfully, Edmund Dulac".
12 x 9.5 cms (4.5 x 3.75 inches). In Dulac's characteristically tiny but beautiful handwriting. The letter has been trimmed and is mounted on part of an album leaf (the verso with the attached cut signature of Arthur Foley Winnington Ingram as Bishop of London). Some browning and offsetting, else very good.
An interesting letter. Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke had married Pearl Faithfull about 18 months prior to the date of this letter. On the death of his father Dilke (known as "Wentie") had inherited a considerable fortune but for some time he had been suffering from an acute persecution complex and bouts of insanity. Shortly before his meeting with Dulac he had spent time in an asylum but by 1917 was thought to be largely free of his paranoid delusions. His wife was Australian born and Dilke, too, had spent time in Australia, hence the suggestion that Lady Dilke's portrait be set amongst exotic Australian birds. Charles Dilke died the following year and not long after that Lady Dilke is thought to have returned to Sydney, Australia. We have been unable to discover whether Dulac ever painted her portrait but given the couple's rather short and ultimately sad time together we rather hope he did.
From an album compiled by Florence Pearl Faithfull (known as
"Pearl"), later Lady Dilke. Pearl Faithfull was the daughter of
H.M Faithfull, solicitor of Sydney, New South Wales and the grand-daughter
of the Australian pioneer and politician William Pitt Faithfull. In 1915
she married Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke but following his insanity and
subsequent death in 1918 she returned to Australia. Many of the
autographs in Pearl Faithfull's collection have an Australian connection.