About this artwork

MacNicol’s promising career was cut short when she died at the age of thirty-four from pregnancy complications. Little is known of the artist. After her widowed husband died, his second wife sold all of his and MacNicol’s paintings and many of them are now lost. This painting is one of few known works by her and relates to two other portraits (which she called ‘fancy heads’); titled ‘The Ermine Ruff and Portrait of a Lady with her Fan’. The influence of American painter James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) can be seen in the decorative design and subdued tonality of this picture.

  • title:
    Portrait of a Lady ('Phyllis in Town')
  • accession number:
    NG 2393
  • artist:
    Bessie MacNicolScottish (1869 - 1904)
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Oil on panel
  • date created:
    Dated 1904
  • measurements:
    35.50 x 24.80 cm (framed: 54.00 x 44.00 x 5.80 cm)
  • credit line:
    Presented by Mrs Isabel M. Traill 1979

Bessie MacNicol

Bessie MacNicol

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