Sir Thomas Monnington:
Study for A Commissioner, St. Stephen's Hall, Palace of Wesminster, circa 1926
Unmounted (ref: 5595)
Provenance: The estate of R Schwabe; thence be descent, inherited by his granddaughters through his daughter.
The English and Scottish commissioners present articles of agreement for the Parliamentary Union of the two countries to Queen Anne at St Jame's Palace in July 1707 was one of eight subjects set by Sir Henry Newbolt for the decorative scheme of history paintings in St. Stephen’s Hall in the Palace of Westminster.
The finished work is 9 x 15 ft. Monnington clearly based his composition on Peter Angelis’s Queen Anne and the Knights of the Garter, painted in 1713, (National Portrait Gallery). A small-scale preliminary oil sketch (31 x 44 ¾) was given by Monnington to Cameron, who bequeathed it to the National Gallery of Scotland. A sanguine study for the head of a nobleman was purchased by the Contemporary Art Society and presented to the British Museum in 1927.
Monnington was working on the Cartoon when visited by Tonks in February 1927; Tonks, Monnington reported to his brother, seemed to like the work very well…. Whatever else he may be, Monnington added, Tonks is a very great critic.
The final paintings were unveiled on 28 June 1927 by the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin.