Thérèse Lessore

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Thérèse Lessore (5 July 1884 – 10 December 1945) was an English artist who worked in oil and watercolour. She was a founder member of the London Group, and the third wife of Walter Sickert.

Lessore was born in Southwick, West Sussex. Her parents were the French painter Jules Frederick Lessore (1849–1892), who had lived in England since 1871, and his wife Ada Louise Cooper. Her grandfather was Émile Lessore (1805–1876), a French ceramic artist and painter who had designed and decorated Wedgwood pottery from the 1860s onward. [1] Her brother Frederick Lessore was a sculptor who founded and ran the Beaux Arts Gallery in London, and her elder sister Ada Louise Powell was a Wedgwood pottery designer. [2]

Thérèse Lessore attended the Slade School of Fine Art from 1904 to 1909. In her final year she was awarded the Melvill Nettleship Prize for Figure Composition. [3]

She exhibited with the Allied Artists Association in 1912, and was associated with the Camden Town Group which gathered around Walter Sickert from 1911 to 1913. [4] In 1913 she was a founder member of the London Group, which combined the members of the Camden Town Group and the Vorticists. [5] She had her first solo exhibition of painting at the Eldar Gallery in London in 1918. [6] Sickert contributed the exhibition catalogue's preface, in which he praised her "sense of design, her spare style, and her technical skill in extracting value from the interplay of coloured underpaintings and final coats of local colour". [7] She had her first solo watercolour show in 1926. [2] In 1931, The Times 's review of a watercolour exhibition by Lessore noted her "serene" portrayal of subjects ranging from "children playing in London parks" to "people at the circus or theatre, Sussex fishermen, and a few pure landscapes", concluding that she possessed a "rare talent happily employed". [8] Lessore also designed and painted pottery for Wedgwood. Her work for the company showed the influence of the Bloomsbury Group artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant in its "loosely handled paint and formal abstraction". [9]

Lessore married the painter Bernard Adeney in 1909; they were divorced in 1921. Lessore married Walter Sickert on 4 June 1926, becoming his third wife. [7] Sickert died in 1942. Lessore died in London on 10 December 1945. [2]

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Ada Louise Powell, maiden name Ada Louise Lessore, was granddaughter to the esteemed Émile Lessore a free hand designer for Wedgwood and sister to the artist Thérèse Lessore. Her father, Jules Lessore, also decorated pottery but was primarily a marine painter, he had exhibitions at the Royal Academy and Paris Salon. Powell studied calligraphy at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. "She became highly skilled and well known, illuminating some of William Morris’ incomplete work, and extending her interests to decorative designs and the painting of furniture for Ernest Grimson". Ada's artistic interests were therefore very much encouraged by her family and she had many roots to the pottery company Wedgwood. Moreover, her sister, Thérèse Lessore, was a painter and founder member of the London Group and then also designed for Wedgwood in the 1920s and her brother Frederick was a portrait sculptor who opened the Beaux Arts Gallery. She married Alfred Hoare Powell on Thursday, 6 September 1906 who then became her artistic partner within her career also.

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  1. "From Munich to Highbury: Walter Sickert and the Sickert family collection in Islington" (PDF). Islington Local History Centre. 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  2. 1 2 3 "Mrs. W. R. Sickert: Thérèse Lessore, the painter". The Times . London, England. 11 December 1945. p. 6.
  3. Hafner, Robert Julian (2014). Mistress, Model, Muse and Mentor: Women In the Lives of Famous Artists. Lulu Press, Inc. ISBN   978-1-4834-0688-6 . Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  4. Ian Chilvers; John Glaves-Smith, eds. (2009). "Camden Town Group". A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art (2 ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-923966-5.
  5. "History of the London Group". The London Group. 2015. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  6. "Thérèse Lessore 1884–1945". The Court Gallery. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  7. 1 2 Baron, Wendy (January 2011). "Sickert, Walter Richard (1860–1943)". The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography . Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  8. "Miss Therese Lessore". The Times. London, England. 20 April 1931. p. 12.
  9. Buckley, Cheryl (2007). Designing Modern Britain. Reaktion Books. p. 68. ISBN   978-1-86189-471-7 . Retrieved 14 March 2016.