Thursday, April 19, 2018

01 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #31

Charles Haigh-Wood,  (British, 1856-1927)
Portrait of Mrs. Charles Haigh-Wood
Oil on canvas 
77.5 x 52.1cm (30 1/2 x 20 1/2in)
Private collection

Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot (28 May 1888 – 22 January 1947) was an English governess and writer, who became known for her marriage in 1915 to the American poet T. S. Eliot. Her legacy, and the extent to which she influenced Eliot's work, has been the subject of much debate. She has been seen variously as a femme fatale who enticed the patrician Eliot into a disastrous marriage, or as his muse, without whom some of his most important work would never have been written.


Haigh-Wood met Eliot in Oxford in March 1915, while he was studying philosophy at Merton College and she was working as a governess in Cambridge. They were married in Hampstead Register Office three months later. They remained married until her death in 1947, but Haigh-Wood's poor physical and mental health, and Eliot's apparent intolerance of it, produced a stormy relationship, made worse by allegations that she had an affair with the philosopher Bertrand Russell.

Eliot arranged for a formal separation in February 1933, and thereafter shunned her entirely, hiding from her and instructing his friends – including members of the Bloomsbury Group and the publisher Faber & Faber, where he was a director – not to tell her where he was. Her brother had her committed to an asylum in 1938, after she was found wandering the streets of London at five o'clock in the morning, apparently asking whether Eliot had been beheaded. Apart from one escape attempt, she remained there until she died nine years later at the age of 58; she was said to have suffered a heart attack, although there is a suspicion that she took an overdose. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature the following year.


Carole Seymour-Jones writes that it was out of the turmoil of the marriage that Eliot produced The Waste Land, one of the 20th century's finest poems. Eliot's sister-in-law, Theresa, said of the relationship: "Vivienne ruined Tom as a man, but she made him as a poet. More on Vivienne Haigh-Wood Eliot

Charles Haigh-Wood,  (British, 1856-1927) was a genre painter, who lived in London, Bury and Taplow, Buckinghamshire.

Haigh-Wood’s enchanting visions of romance, with attractive girls and pretty dresses are some of the most endearing and popular of all images. His patrons adored them, a successful businessman of Haigh-Wood’s day with any pretension to artistic taste had to own one.

He exhibited from 1874 to 1904, at the Royal Academy from 1879 to 1904, Suffolk Street, New Watercolour Society and elsewhere.

Titles at the Royal Academy include “The Harvest Moon” 1879, “Chatterboxes” 1889 and “The Old Love and the New” 1901. More on Charles Haigh-Wood


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