Stanley Spencer

Portrait of Elizabeth Wimperis

1939
Elizabeth Wimperis was the niece by marriage of former Governor General Vincent Massey; she was the daughter of Massey's sister-in-law, Grace Wimperis. The two families were close. During World War II, while Massey was posted to London as the High Commissioner for Canada, Grace's husband Henry also worked for the Australian embassy there. This portrait may have been commissioned by Massey to help out the artist, who was chronically short of money. We know from a letter Elizabeth wrote to her aunt Alice, Massey's wife, that Stanley Spencer approached her about doing a second painting, but nothing seems to have come of the offer. Little is known of Wimperis, except that she worked in nursing during the war years.
Title
Portrait of Elizabeth Wimperis
Date
1939
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on canvas
Dimensions
76.2 x 56 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Gift of the Massey Collection of English Painting, 1946
Accession number
4818