With more than 200 portraits by Sir William Rothenstein housed in the National Portrait Gallery, it is no wonder the artist is considered the master of portraiture between and after both world wars.
Sir William is perhaps the best-known member of a remarkable clan of artists, collectors, patrons and academics. His social circle included James Whistler, Edgar Degas and Henri Toulouse-Lautrec while studying in Paris in the 1890s and HG Wells, Joseph Conrad and Augustus John while living in Hampstead.
However, in 1912 he and his family (wife Alice and four children John, Betty, Rachel and Michael) had settled into the Cotswolds rural idyll at Iles Farm in Far Oakridge, near Stroud. Arts and crafts architect Norman Jewson was engaged to restore the rundown property and local craftsmen were commissioned to burgeon its contents.
Drawings by the Bradford-born painter Sir William Rothenstein (1872-1945) will be coming to auction at Mallams, Oxford. The works come by descent from his daughter Rachel Ward (née Rothenstein).
Her grandfather Moritz Rothenstein, a wool trader, is pictured in a pencil drawing signed and dated 1914 (estimate £100-£200) while she herself is the subject of at least two drawings: a sketch of two young girls (estimate £200-£400) and a later bust portrait in coloured chalks inscribed “For Mrs Ward” and dated 1921 (estimate £200-£300). Other sensitively observed portrait drawings may also depict family members.
An archive of Rothenstein family drawings will be featured in Mallams’ 8 December design sale.