Margaret Anderson, The Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville DBE (1863-1942)
Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (Lille 1838 – Paris 1917)
Before a gleaming cloth of gold, a dynamic woman smiles out at us in a dramatic hat and sweeping, silk-lined mantle. This is Margaret, illegitimate and only child of the brewing magnate, William McEwan, depicted in the year of her marriage to the Hon. Ronald Greville. The great sense of confidence caught by Carolus-Duran, painter of Parisian society ladies and demi-mondaines, proved entirely apt. Her union with one of the closest friends of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, added social standing to her riches, resulting in a long career as one of the great hostesses of the age.
Oil painting on canvas, Margaret Anderson, The Hon. Mrs Ronald Greville DBE (1863-1942) by Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (Lille 1838 – Paris 1917), signed and dated, bottom left, "Carolus Duran Paris 1891". A full-length portrait of a young woman, turned slightly to the left, gazing at the spectator, and wearing a large black feathered hat and a deep pink velvet coat with a deep brown fur collar and cape over her black velvet evening bodice and skirt; the bodice is heavily boned and pointed. The decolletage is covered with a large white fichu. She stands before a gold drape which is slightly drawn aside on the right.
Bequeathed in 1942 by Margaret Helen Greville DBE (1863-1942) to the National Trust, along with the Polesden Lacey Estate in memory of her father William McEwan MP (1827-1913). [The probate inventory of January 1943 shows this item in the record for Polesden Lacey pictures, drawings etc., the Main Staircase, page 135.]
Polesden Lacey, The McEwan Collection (National Trust)
Marks and inscriptions
Carolus Duran / Paris 1891 (signed and dated, bottom left corner)
Makers and roles
Emile-Auguste Carolus-Duran (Lille 1838 – Paris 1917), artist
In Trust for the Nation, National Gallery, London, 1995 - 1996, no.15
Polesden Lacey, Surrey, 1971 [The National Trust;St. John Gore] 1964; revised 1971, p.13, no.1 In Trust for the Nation: Paintings from National Trust Houses (exh cat) (Alastair Laing) The National Gallery, London, 22 November 1995 - 10 March 1996, pp.26-7, no.15 Chu 2017 John Chu, The Pictures at Polesden Lacey, National Trust, 2017, p.31