This portrait drew me in straight away.
I spotted it when I walked into the Jacques-Émile Blanche exhibit at the Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent, and loved the colouring and the feel of the piece.
And I was further intrigued to read the caption:
“Sir Coleridge Kennard” also titled “The Portrait of Dorian Gray”
Pardon? Dorian Gray? THE Dorian Gray? Wilde’s Dorian?
I needed to know more.
It turns out that Sir Coleridge ‘Roy’ Kennard was 19 when the portrait was painted by his friend Blanche. Roy was known as a bit of a dandy – it shows, doesn’t it?
Kennard’s mother was friends with Oscar Wilde – but didn’t want her son’s name attached to the portrait, so it was exhibited anonymously as ‘The Portrait of Dorian Gray’