Dod Procter

Roses

Oil on board: 12(h) x 10(w) in /

30.5(h) x 25.4(w) cm

Signed upper left: Dod Procter; signed and inscribed on the reverse: Roses / by Dod Procter

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BM 58

 

DOD PROCTER RA NEAC

London 1892 – 1972 Newlyn

 

Roses

 

Signed upper left: Dod Procter; signed and inscribed on the reverse: Roses / by Dod Procter

Oil on board: 12 x 10 in / 30.5 x 25.4 cm

Frame size: 16 ¾ x 14 ¾ in / 42.5 x 37.5 cm

In a French drawing carved & gilded frame

 

Painted circa 1967

 

Provenance:

Private collection, purchased from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 1967

 

Exhibited:

London, Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, 1967, no.461

 

 

Dod Procter was known predominantly as a figurative painter. Throughout her career she created beautiful nude studies of the female figure on the brink of womanhood that not only highlighted their delicate forms but were viewed as powerfully observed portraits. Though less well-known, her flower paintings are equally charming and typify the Art Deco era that Procter’s career flourished within. Procter came to Newlyn in 1907 to study with Stanhope Forbes and apart from a few spells away from the seaside town (including stays in Paris and Burma), spent the remainder of her life there. In 1923, Procter and her husband Ernest bought an old fisherman’s cottage in North Corner, Newlyn and together they created a very special garden. ‘Dod’s creativity affected every aspect of her life, from the immaculate way in which she dressed to the way she organised her house and garden. The latter was a source of pleasure and she spent many happy hours creating a magical garden with Ernest.’[1] Procter would meticulously select and arrange flowers from their garden to paint, taking several hours as she chose the flowers’ tones and colours with great care. Initially she preferred ‘…to portray flowers of uncomplicated structure – anemones, tulips, camellias and poppies. Only later, and almost certainly looking to Renoir and a softer, hazier mode, did she paint many-petalled flowers, such as the roses.’[2]

 

Roses is a late floral painting, softer than the solid forms found in her earlier works and exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition of 1967. The edges of the rose petals are almost smudged against the background, as they gently unfurl away from the body of the bouquet. The porcelain white roses luminesce against the deep pinks and purples that surround them, delicately tinged with the opposing warm or cool hue, suggesting a sweet complexion to the painting’s palette like a blush upon a youthful cheek. Procter creates a distinctly feminine scene in her later, liberated style without any real sense of setting in this hazy, romantic still life, the sensation reiterated through the blushing tones of the roses. As Averil King elucidates: ‘Her carefully composed and subtly coloured ‘portraits’ of the flowers she loved best … were particularly evocative, while her later studies, sometimes featuring wild flowers as well as cultivated ones, are perhaps the most memorable of all.’[3]

 

Dod sent flower-pieces as early submissions to the Royal Academy from 1916, though it was her portrait of Cissie Barnes, entitled Morning, 1927 (Tate Britain), that brought her to the attention of a wider audience after its purchase by the Daily Mail for the nation. Dod made headlines again two years later when her nude painting, Virginal (private collection), was rejected by the Academy’s Hanging Committee, causing crowds to flock to the Leicester Galleries to see it. ‘As well as exhibiting locally, throughout her career she considered the Royal Academy the most prestigious venue in which to present her paintings, its Show days, at the start of the summer season, constituting the highlight of her working year…she is fondly remembered arriving at the opening day, in her later years, elegantly dressed and wearing a wide-brimmed black Spanish hat.’[4]

 

 

           

 

[1] Caroline Fox and Francis Greenacre (eds.), Painting in Newlyn 1880-1930, Barbican Centre, London, 1985, pp.91-92.

[2] Averil King, “Where have all the flowers gone?”, Country Life, 14th January 2015, p.70.

[3] Averil King, Newlyn Flowers: The Floral Art of Dod Procter, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 2005, p.8.

[4] Averil King, Newlyn Flowers: The Floral Art of Dod Procter, ibid., p.104. Elizabeth Knowles writes, ‘Towards the end of her life Dod was hoping for and expecting an exhibition at the Royal Academy.’ Dod Procter RA 1892-1972: Ernest Procter 1886-1935, exh cat, Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle in collaboration with Newlyn Orion, Penzance, 1990, p.28.

Modern BritishDod Procter