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    Henri Matisse, Portrait of Mary Hutchinson, 1936  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR £3.1 MILLION

    A Matisse portrait of the writer Mary Hutchinson comes up at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern evening sale in London on June 19. It was created in the Paris studio of Matisse in 1936 and is estimated at £2-3 million.  Mary Hutchinson, a member of the Bloomsbury gr0up, was an active patron of the arts throughout her life.  A cousin of Lytton Strachey and friend of artist Duncan Grant, Mary was introduced to the Bloomsbury set and commenced a decade-long love affair with the art critic Clive Bell, the husband of painter Vanessa Bell. In 1915, Vanessa painted her own portrait of Mary, in dazzling colours reminiscent of Matisse’s style.

    The charcoal portrait  – one of only a handful of commissioned portrait drawings Matisse made of English women –  is coming for sale from the estate of the late Lord Hutchinson of Lullington, QC, the sitter’s son. He was a renowned criminal barrister who defended Christine Keeler and Howard Marks, as well as the publication of Lady Chatterley’s Lover in a long career of watershed legal cases and cause célèbres.  The sitting was arranged by the artist’s son-in-law Georges Duthuit, who was a writer and friend of Vanessa and Duncan.

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