Portrait of Barbara Gibson, 1931
Portraits were among some of Wilfrid’s very earliest successes, and provided a steady source of income for the artist throughout his career. He exhibited a number of portraits at the Salons in Paris during the 1890s, including several in pastel—a medium in which he also excelled. At that early stage he frequently painted his sisters, Rachel and Lilian, and after his marriage in 1904 he often painted Jane. Through the 1920s and 1930s some of his regular models appear in portraits which were perhaps concerned less with representing them as individuals as with stimulating commissions through their public exhibition. In them he was able to experiment with the genre, trying out less conventional compositions, different lighting effects and opulent clothing. Among these models were Rhoda, Nellie, Barbara, Rai and Lynette.
Portrait of Lillian Rist, née von Glehn, 1895
Dejeuner sous la Tonnelle, 1908