George Henry

British, b.1858, d.1943

The Black Hat

  • Presented by the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1932
  • Oil on canvas
  • 890 x 730mm
  • 69/389
  • 1904

In about 1901, having established a strong reputation with his painting in Scotland, the Glasgow-based George Henry relocated to London, where he began to establish a successful society portrait practice.

The Black Hat – possibly the work exhibited to acclaim as ‘La dame au chapeau noir’ at the Royal Glasgow Institute in 1904 – was one of twelve paintings selected in 1911 by the English artist Niels Lund to be purchased for the Canterbury Society of Arts. Its acquisition in 1912 was enabled through a newly agreed £50 annual subsidy from the Christchurch City Council; the society presented the painting to the city's new public gallery in 1932.

(Treasury: A Generous Legacy, 18 December 2015 – 27 November 2016)