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Adopted in memory of Mildred Karten by Anthony Davis & the Karten Charitable Trust

Lilian ‘Lily’ Mackintosh was one of a number of children who often played in the Wattses garden at Little Holland House. Having lost both parents the Wattses affection for her grew over time and she was eventually adopted by them.

The painting was an intimate artistic collaboration by the Wattses. While his wife was busy in London for the day, Watts called Lilian into his studio and worked ‘quite furiously’ to complete the portrait. Mary Watts was delighted with the result but believed the laurel wreath that Lilian held was too funereal. She then painted in the basket of roses visible in the portrait now, imitating Watts’s style with subtlety and skill.

Oil on canvas
180.0 x 129.0cm

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