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Sir Gerald Festus Kelly:
Neac Thul V, Cambodian Dancer, circa 1936
Framed (ref: 3797)
Inscribed with title on the canvas edge and on the stretcher, Neac Thul V [CF 35]
Oil on canvas, 27 1/4 x 31 1/8 in. (69.1 x 79.5 cm.)
Kelly's portraits of Oriental dancers were at one time among the most popular of all popular prints. He first painted them early in his career, when he spent a period in 1908-9 in Mandalay in Burma, a trip funded by Somerset Maugham who used Kelly as the basis for characters in several novels. Kelly returned to Burma and Cambodia in 1936 to paint further models.
Kenneth Clark described Gerald Kelly as ‘the most reliable portrait painter of his time,’ and Clive Bell thought him ‘about the best President of the Royal Academy since Sir Joshua Reynolds.’
We are grateful to Robert Thornhill and Nance and Ko Aung for assistance.