|Alexa Wilding (c.1865) D G Rossetti|
Mr Walker was at a training day at the Sotherby's Art Institute and was visiting a place in Bond Street, when in one of the windows opposite he spied this picture. The gallery that was displaying it was The Maas Gallery, home of some very exquisite art indeed. Mr Walker said 'Oh, look, that's Alexa Wilding!' (in a moment that makes me very proud indeed) and came home to tell me. I emailed Mr Maas to enquire about the picture and got a pleasingly speedy response.
The picture had been in the collection of George Price Boyce (swoon!) and may have been one he acquired from Rossetti in 1865. In his diary of 19th May 1865, Boyce wrote 'Dined with Rossetti and Fanny and Howell at Chelsea. Settled to take for £50 eleven selected pencil studies of heads, R. in addition giving me one of a new model he has got to sit.' Boyce was later to 'borrow' Alexa from Rossetti for his own picture of the Stunner...
|George Price Boyce|
|Alexa George Price Boyce|
You should know by now I'm currently quite obsessed with Alexa, and have finished the first draft of my novel about her, a fictionalised account of Rossetti's life and her part in it, so I emailed Mr Maas for further details. This gorgeous drawing is £65,000 (roughly the same as the mortgage on my home) and in my humble and utterly biased opinion, worth every penny. No matter how big my eyes and fluttery my lashes were, Mr Walker stubbornly refused to sell our house to buy it for me, so I shall throw myself on the mercy of Father Christmas (who I fervently believe in now).
Should anyone have £65,000 spare, Mr Maas and his gallery of beauty can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone 0207 734 2302. His gallery can be found at 15a Clifford Street, London.
Many thanks to Rupert Maas for the information and for emailing me the picture with such speed. It is on my Christmas list...