‘Madame Ennui’

Matthew Arnold Bracy Smith (1879–1959)
Madame Ennui (Vera Cunningham), 1925

Yorkshire-born artist, Matthew Smith studied at the Slade and, later, with Henri Matisse in Paris (where he had fled with artist Vera Cunningham). Vera Cunningham often modelled for Smith, but became more focussed on her own painting around the time this painting was produced and developed a successful artistic career for herself. Cunningham had studied painting at the Central School of Arts and Crafts and began exhibiting with the London Group in 1922. With Smith, she exhibited in Paris at the Amis de Montparnasse and the Salon des Indépendants in 1922.