emma young the reluctant sitter c1950 by dorothy colles

"Emma Young, The Reluctant Sitter" c.1950, by Dorothy Colles.



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A charming pastel by Dorothy Colles, signed, and inscribed verso.
Dorothy Colles was born in Cairo in 1917. Her father was a forensic scientist and medical school professor working for the Egyptian government. He eventually retired to England where in the 1930s Dorothy began her training at the Central Westminster, Epsom and St Martin’s schools of art. Soon after she began at St Martin’s the Second World War began. She was keen to join the war effort and joined the WAAF.
After serving at Tangmere fighter base, where she drew some of the pilots, she served at Medmenham interpreting the photographs taken by photographic reconnaissance aircraft. She was then sent to Italy and the Middle East where she spent much of her spare time drawing and painting.
After the war Dorothy returned to art school at St Martin’s and then joined the Egypt Exploration Society and left for Egypt to record the hieroglyphs on temples threatened with the rising desert water table. She then did similar work in Jordan drawing ancient sites as well as painting portraits of the king’s immediate circle, part of the royal family and Bedouin warriors.
When Dorothy returned to England in the late 1940s she started a freelance art career concentrating on portrait painting of children. She worked substantially to commission and would usually paint two portraits of a child during several sittings, one full face and one three quarter face leaving the parents to make the choice. Her portraits were known to be “fresh with a spark of character and wonderfully lively”. She worked mainly in pastel.
She exhibited at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and The Pastel Society of which she was a member. Dorothy wrote "Portraying Children" in 1953.
She died, aged 86, on 12 November 2003 in Petersfield, Hampshire.
SIZE: 32 x 25.5 inches including frame.
PROVENANCE: *Formerly with Graham Bentley Watercolours and Drawings.
* Private Collection, Shropshire.
Internal Ref: 9069


Height = 81 cm (32")
Width = 62 cm (25")
Depth = 2 cm (1")

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