Bust of the Marchioness of Granby, 1902
Sir George Frampton RA (1860 - 1928)
RA Collection: Art
On free display in Dame Jillian Sackler Sculpture Gallery
This bust depicts Marion Margaret Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland (1856-1937). Born Violet Lindsay, in 1882 she married Henry J.B. Manners. Manners was made Marquess of Granby in 1888 and Duke of Rutland in 1906.
In the 1880s Manners was part of a circle of aesthetes known as 'The Souls', which Consuelo Marlborough described as 'a select group in which a high degree of intelligence was found happily allied to aristocratic birth … I think there is some justification for the name of 'Souls', since many have become immortal.' This group, in which women played an important role, included the future Prime Minister A.J. Balfour, Viceroy of India George Curzon, Margot Tennant, Mary Wyndham, and Ettie Fane (later Lady Desborough).
Manners was a practicing artist, specialising in pencil portraits and sculpture. She regularly exhibited at the Grosvenor Gallery opened by her cousin Sir Coutts Lindsay in 1877, showing works including a statuette of her friend Princess Louise, Queen Victoria's daughter. From 1881 she also exhibited at the Royal Academy her many portraits of the 'Souls' and their friends. In 1902, the year this bust was created, she exhibited two hundred portrait drawings at the New Gallery, three of which were purchased by the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. Her plaster model of the memorial to Lord Haddon, her son who died aged nine in 1894, was presented to the Tate in 1938.
Manners was also a celebrated society beauty, painted by artists such as G.F. Watts, Jacques-Emile Blanche, J.J. Shannon and William Rothenstein. In her later years she continued to live by Aesthetic codes, wearing unconventional flowing garments in muted colours pinned with exotic brooches, as seen in these bust.
This marble by Frampton was presented as his Diploma Work shortly after it was made—it was originally painted with gold highlights as the Art Journal (1902, p.220) recorded:
'Mr. George Frampton, who was raised from Associateship to full membership of the Royal Academy on March 26th last, has already deposited his diploma work. This takes the form of a bust portrait of the Marchioness of Granby, in marble. Mr. Frampton a firm adherent of what may be called the polychromatic school of sculptors; he does not believe that here and now we need dissociate colour from reliefs or examples in the round. In the 'Lady Granby,' the medallions, bearing a peacock design, the ear-rings, and the fastening of the quaint headgear under the chin, are touched with gold.'
This colour is visible in the image reproduced in Royal Academy Pictures (1902), although no colour is present today and the conservation reports do not refer to any pigment remaining. Unusually, It is not clear when this colour was lost and there is no evidence that Lambert removed the colour before presenting the work to the Royal Academy.
The Royal Academy Exhibition of 1902, The Art Journal, (pp. 201- 221), p. 220, repd. p. 219
Jane Abdy and Charlotte Gere, The Souls, London 1984
Susan Beattie, The New Sculpture, New Haven & London, Yale University Press, 1983
740 mm x 615 mm x 300 mm, Weight: 138 kg
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