From Delius to Dod Procter

Frederick Delius by Ernest Procter, 1929
Frederick Delius by Ernest Procter, 1929

Royal Pavilion guide and researcher Alexandra Loske has recently curated an exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall marking the 150th anniversary of the birth of composer Frederick Delius. The centrepiece of the display is a rarely seen portrait of Delius by Ernest Procter, that has a connection with a work in our collections: Early Morningcurrently on  display in Brighton Museum,  was painted by Procter’s wife, Dod.

Doris (‘Dod’) Shaw and Ernest had met at the Forbes School of Painting in Newlyn in Cornwall, where they were taught by Stanhope Forbes. They married there in 1912. They later set up their own school in Newlyn, offering tuition in painting and drawing. Both had also studied in Paris, where Dod Procter developed a strong interest in figure painting. She was also interested in botany and her body of work contains a large number of floral still lives. In 1934, Ernest Procter was appointed Director of Studies in Design and Craft at Glasgow School of Art, but died only a year later, aged only 49. The couple had retained a home in Cornwall and Dod continued to live and work there until her death in 1972.

Early Morning by Dod Procter, 1927
Early Morning by Dod Procter, 1927

Our painting is a second, smaller version of the famous Morning from 1926, which was displayed at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1927. It was voted Picture of the Year and purchased by the Daily Mail for the Tate gallery, where it still hangs. The model was a young girl from Newlyn.

Alexandra Loske
Guide and researcher

3 Responses

  1. The model for Morning was Cissie Barnes. She was the 16 year-old daughter of a fish merchant from Newlyn. She also happens to have been my husband’s great-aunt.

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