Literature: William Strang RA 1859-1921, Sheffield City Art Galleries, page 41 and 44.
Portrait of Nancy Strang and David or Ian Strang
Amongst his children, one son of whom holds the cloak, Strang's only daughter Nancy held a particular place in her father's heart. This portrait of her clearly illustrates how Strang desired to express his love of female beauty.
He once, recounted C.R. Ashbee, "... showed me a drawing of his, 'I've tried all my life to do the pretty-pretty but it's no good... I can't'. He suddenly checked, looking at his little daughter Nancy and handed me a drawing of her, 'but what do you think of that?'".
He could not cut corners, could not bring himself to suggest where he felt he must delineate the facts, as he saw them, of his daughter's physiognomy, and it is this sincerity which lends her identity a force and integrity which can justifiably be called beauty. To alleviate and complement the intensity of the image, Strang introduced the still-life and hanging - bright with the colours of the Ballet Russe and redolent of pleasure.