This is a delicate portrait of Brigitte Kelly, a British dancer who danced with the Covent Garden Russian Ballet from 1939 under the stage name Maria Sanina. She would later travel to Australia in 1947 with the ballet company the ‘Ballet Rambert’. The company stayed here until 1949 and gave over 500 performances during this time.
Arthur Royce Bradbury
Bradbury was born on the 17th September 1892 in Preston, Lancashire. He specialised in painting portraits, landscapes and marines on oil, watercolour and pastel and was an accomplished etcher and teacher at the Pembroke Lodge School and Wimborne Grammar School. He studied at the St. John’s Wood School of Art before being accepted at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1913 he is recorded as living at Bournemouth, then Parkstone, Dorset in 1915 before finally settling in Poole for many years.
He served as a cadet in Mercantile Marine serving for them on the West African trade route, before taking up art. It was then that he made several voyages on the barquentine ‘Waterwitch’ carrying coal and china clay from Cornish ports. The ‘Waterwitch’ was the last trading square rigger in British service at that time.
He became an Associate of the Royal West of England Academy and exhibited there and widely elsewhere, mostly portraits. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1913 a work titled ‘Iris’ and went on to exhibit fourteen works there. Examples of his work may be seen at the Liverpool and Brighton Public Art Galleries.