British (English) artist known for his bird paintings.
ALS. 1p plus integral blank leaf. 15 Hamilton Terrace, St John's Wood, N.W. December 23rd 1878. To [William] Woodall. TOGETHER WITH a contemporary portrait photograph of Henry Stacy Marks and an invitation to an 'At Home' soiree at the house of the artist.
"Many thanks for your kind letter and good wishes. The wife and girls unite with me in kind regards and best wishes for a successful and happy New Year, faithfully yours, H.S. Marks. I wish you political success with all my heart - Dizzy be ____!!"
The invitation reads "Mr H.S. Marks At Home. Birds, Baccy & Beverages. Wednesday Jan.ry 21st 1880. 17 Hamilton Terrace, N.W. Morning Dress. 8 to 12 p.m." and is addressed to W. Woodall, Esq. It is printed on thick paper and is illustrated with a variety of exotic birds, for which the artist was famous.
8vo. Approx 7 x 4.5 inches. Mounting residue and slight mounting damage to verso of integral blank leaf, else fine. The portrait of Henry Stacy Marks is a contemporary 19th century albumin photograph, showing him in vignette head and shoulders in profile. It is carte de visite size (approx. 3.75 x 2.5 inches) and dates from circa 1875. It is mounted on an old album leaf within a border of fine pen work decoration. There is some mounting damage to verso but the photograph is in fine condition. The invitation measures approx. 6.75 x 5 inches, Slight mounting traces to verso, else fine.
Henry Stacy Marks was one of the artists of the St John's Wood Clique, which included the artist Philip Hermogenes Calderon. He had made his name with a series of decorative friezes and, which included the frieze on the outside walls of the Albert Hall and one for the house of fellow artist, Lawrence Alma-Tadema. He painted huge canvasses for the Duke of Westminster's house, which included several panels of birds - a subject which was later to be associated with him and which formed the subject of his most famous work, 'A Select Committee'. Henry Stacy Marks was elected to the Royal Academy in 1878 and this letter is probably in acknowledgement of William Woodall's congratulations on his election.
The letter, photograph and invitation are all from a collection formed by the radical Liberal MP, William Woodall. He was an enthusiastic art collector and a trustee of the Wedgewood Institute. At the date of this letter, Woodall was active in politics but had not yet entered parliament. Disraeli was in his last term of office as prime minister and his popularity was waning. Henry Stacy Marks ends his letter with reference to a popular saying of the day "Dizzy be damned" and wishes Woodall well in his forthcoming political campaign. At the election in 1880 Disraeli was ousted by Gladstone's Liberals and Woodall entered parliament as MP for Stoke-upon-Trent.