UNIVERSITY of GLASGOW

The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Frances Richards, 1852-1934

Nationality: Canadian
Date of Birth: 1852
Place of Birth:
Date of Death: 1934
Place of Death:

Identity:

Frances Richards was an artist. She was the daughter of the Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia and the niece of the Chief Justice of Canada. In 1888 she married William Edwin Rowley in London.

Life:

Frances Richards studied in Paris, where she made friends with Marie Bashkirtseff, who painted her portrait. Richards apparently painted a portrait of Oscar Wilde, who introduced her to JW. Wilde wrote to her in 1882: 'You will appreciate him, and he you.' To JW he wrote: 'I want you to know, and to know is to delight in, Miss Richards, who is an artist, and a little oasis of culture in Canada. She does really good work [...] She is already devoted to your pictures, or rather to my descriptions of them [...] She is quite worthy of your blue and white china' (#09546). She was a close friend of the Canadian literary journalist and art critic Robert ('Robbie') Baldwin Ross. Following her marriage she settled permanently in England.

Bibliography:

The Journal of Marie Bashkirtseff, trans. Mathilde Blind, intro. by Rozsika Parker and Griselda Pollock, London, 1985; Holland, Merlin, and Rubert Hart-Davis (eds), The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, London, 2000.