Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.267.
Self-portrait Painting at an Easel Outdoors, 1920, will be featured as one of the images in our forthcoming on line exhibition: Hidden Gems, Season Two: Portrait of an Artist
Exhibited: Spink, 1990
Douglas Stannus Gray lived for most of his life at 102 King’s Avenue, Clapham, and used the garden there in many of his portraits. This includes a picture of Rosalind Gray – the artist’s sister, and herself a talented miniature painter – in a straw hat and pink ribbon. He later painted his wife, Kathleen, with the same large parasol, and an image of the garden alone – with steps and large, stone flowerpots – which sold at Christie’s to a private collector in 2003.
Stannus Gray was believed to have been the favourite pupil of John Singer Sargent at the Royal Academy, and this self-portrait shows the loose, spontaneous style that Sargent favoured.
By 1950, the Clapham House, badly damaged during the Second World War, was under a compulsory purchase order for demolition and development of blocks of flats, and had to be cleared. Stannus Gray died nine years later, and his obituary in The Times praised his skill and stature as a portraitist, continuing the tradition of artist’s such as Sargent, Clausen, Lavery and Forbes.