SOLD. Portrait of Elena by Stella Marks MVO (1887-1985)

Oil on Canvas, professionally framed in a dark wooden frame with subtle foliate edging detail.

Total measurement: 50.5cm wide, 60.5cm high

Stella Marks- This beautiful and serene portrait of the artist’s friend, Russian born actress Elena Miramova, painted sometime between 1935-1948. Stella would quite often paint two portraits when the sitter was a friend, keeping one for herself.

This painting is one of two known portraits of Elena, the other very similar but depicting her friend with a more wistful and sorrowful expression; that painting was exhibited in 1948 by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at The Royal Exchange, London. Its where abouts now unknown.

Stella Marks (1887-1985) was born in Melbourne, Australia and throughout her lifetime was an active artist in Australia, The United States and Great Britain.

She was best known as a portrait painter, particularly in portrait miniatures.

In 1899 at the age of eleven she had only one ambition, to paint. After her attendance at University High School, Melbourne, she studied for 5 years at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin.

She was a member of the American Society of Miniature Painters and the Royal Society of Miniature painters, Sculpture, and Gravers, Great Britain.

Notable Works include a 1941 commissioned miniature of Mary Churchill, Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter; which Sir Winston is said to have carried with him on his journeys during the war.

In 1948, Stella was commissioned by the Duke of Edinburgh, to paint a portrait miniature of Princess Elizabeth; and then went on to paint 14 miniatures of the British Royal Family including Prince Philip and all the royal children including the first ever portrait of Prince Charles, aged two.

In 1978, Stella Marks was awarded a Member of the Victorian Order (MVO) by H.M. Queen Elizabeth II for her work.

In 1980, almost completely blind, she resigned from the Royal Miniature Society and in 1985 died in Kent, United Kingdon, leaving behind a body of work which encompasses over 500 portrait paintings.

Two of these portrait miniatures are in permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.