18 July 2011

remembering REX


died 18 July 1944 at the age of 39
Caen, Normandy,France

This painting of the Music Room at Plas Newydd was begun by Rex Whistler in 1938 but never finished (presumably because of the outbreak of war the following year - he would spend the next four years in the Welsh Guards). The present Marquess of Anglesey (who was then 16) is painting at the easel; Lady Caroline Paget, Whistler's great love, is standing in the doorway (she is the most obviously unfinished part of the painting); the 6th Marquess (who would die in 1947) is sitting in the armchair; and the Marchioness is playing the piano with her daughters Lady Mary and Lady Katharine standing behind her. 



  1. Oh dear Lord! More hours in the day; PLEASE!!!

    He did those amazing "trophies" (they must have been on canvas affixed to the walls.....so they could move with Lady Diana)

    What did he die of at 37?
    SOB!!! SOB!!!

    What a delightful talent.......
    Thank you for showing all of us this moment of complete genius!

  2. After the psycho weekend we had, this is a blessing to wake up to in our airport hotel, ahead of what we hope will be a more peaceful day (for our human and animal family; for the world). I love the Rex Whistler painting, its story and also the link to the Persephone Post. Thank you. Off to Maine (after passing through New Hampshire because of Continental's strange decision to cancel the Portland flight 16 hours in advance on account of "weather". It looks like a beautiful day. Curtis

  3. One has been a great fan of RW since first learning of him as a youth when I had the great good fortune to be taken to lunch at the Tate museum, where his murals grace the dining room. He was brilliant, and it is a great shame that he died during the war, not yet forty years old. Reggie

  4. The War swept him and others away. Cecil Beaton and Stephen Tennant supposedly wrangled over who did he love best. Those wonderful frescoes at Ashcombe where're they all really had their time in the Sun of youth and beauty.

  5. How nice to see your tribute to Rex Whistler today,
    Had been looking at his brother's book about Rex only
    yesterday. That sort of talent and the exceptional society
    of people who were his patrons, is the sort of thing that makes
    one quite wistful for past times.
    Note to Penelope Bianchi: It was Martin Battersby who painted
    Lady Diana Cooper's trophies, not Rex Whistler.

  6. Mr. Worthington- yes I remember the discussion of artist Whistler v. MB- I am adding this link to my post about the rooms of Lady Diana. I am in the mountains right now with that very book in my to read again pile-though perhaps not right now-I will read it again soon. His work does make for wistful thinking. pgt http://littleaugury.blogspot.com/2010/06/by-lady-diana-cooper-some-rooms.html

  7. Penelope & The Swan, It does capture a moment that will not return-I do wonder sometimes- what if-however- He remains suspended in time and we must appreciate what he left, even as we mourn what he might yet have done.

  8. Curtis- glad to send something your way to more restful retreats. I love to travel- it is the getting there that tries the soul.

  9. Reggie darling, The Tate murals are another of the blessing we can all partake of- I have noticed there is a lot of Rex on the internet about him at the moment-much more than say a year ago-I applaud that and that is what makes this blog worthwhile-making the small contributions to the great whole. pgt



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