A Boxing Tournament is a vivid and impactful snapshot of a professional boxing match from the 1930s. It depicts the Len Harvey vs. ‘Kid’ Nitram fight held at the Royal Albert Hall on 19th January 1928, which Zinkeisen went to watch.
The umpire of this match was the well-known Sam Russell. Here, Russell is seen wearing a dinner jacket as well as a shirt – an indication that this was a match in a professional tournament.
Both Len Harvey and ‘Kid’ Nitram were esteemed boxers. Harvey boxed at every weight division available at the time, from flyweight to heavyweight and became the light-heavyweight and heavyweight champion of the British Empire. During the Second World War Harvey joined the Royal Air Force as an officer.
Anna enjoyed noticeable publicity from the painting at the time. She appeared in photographs, alongside her sketches for the painting, in numerous newspapers including The Daily Mail (31st January 1928) and The Sketch (8th February 1928).
Anna Zinkeisen was born at Kilcreggan, Dumbartonshire on 29 August 1901, the daughter of Victor Zinkeisen, a timber merchant, and his wife Clare.
In 1901 the family moved to Middlesex. Anna and her sister Doris attended Harrow School of Art before they both won scholarships to the Royal Academy Schools, where Anna studied sculpture from 1916-1921, winning several medals. She received a commission for some plaques from the Wedgwood company and although her designs were awarded a silver medal at the Exposition des Art Decoratifs in Paris in 1925, she decided to specialise in portrait painting and mural work.
In 1935, Anna and her sister Doris Zinkeisen were commissioned by John Brown & Co. (Shipbuilders of Clydebank) to paint the murals in the Verandah Grill of the famous ocean liner the RMS Queen Mary. Their work can still be seen on the ship, now permanently moored in Long Beach, California. They also painted murals for the Queen Elizabeth.
In 1941, during World War II, the Zinkeisen sisters were both employed as war artists for the North West Europe Commission of the Joint War Organisation of the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John at St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington and made pathological drawings of war injuries for the Royal College of Surgeons.
Artist of portrait, figure, landscape and murals and book illustrator she exhibited widely including at the Royal Academy, Royal Society of British Artists, Royal Hiberian Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Society of Women Artists, Royal Scottish Academy, Redfern Gallery and in the provinces and abroad. Her painting of plastic surgeon Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe is exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery (London), as is her self-portrait.
She married at Marylebone church in London in 1928, a Mr Guy Robert Nelson Heseltine (1897-1967) and they lived at Looms Cottage, Burgh, Woodbridge in Suffolk.
Her works can be found in museums across the country. Zinkeisen died in Kensington, London on 23 September 1976.