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Dorothy Colles (1917-2003) - Pastel, Portrait of a Lady in a Shirt



A very fine, characterful pastel portrait by the listed artist Dorothy Colles (1917-2003), depicting a well-presented lady in a leopard print shirt. Signed.


In fine condition overall.


41.8 x 30.4cm (16.5" x 12")
Sheet: 49.7 x 39cm (19.6" x 15.4")

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Artist Biography

Dorothy Colles (1917-2003) was born in Cairo in 1917. Her father was a forensic scientist and medical school professor working for the Egyptian government. He eventually retired to England where in the 1930s Dorothy began her training at the Central Westminster, Epsom and St Martin’s schools of art. Soon after she began at St Martin’s the Second World War began. She was keen to join the war effort and joined the WAAF. After serving at Tangmere, where she drew some of the pilots and the dramatic black and white picture of the Operations Room shown here, she served at Medmenham interpreting the photographs taken by photographic reconnaissance aircraft. She was then sent to Italy and the Middle East where she spent much of her spare time drawing and painting.

After the war Dorothy returned to art school at St Martin’s and then joined the Egypt Exploration Society and left for Egypt to record the hieroglyphs on temples threatened with the rising desert water table. She then did similar work in Jordan drawing ancient sites as well as painting portraits of the king’s immediate circle, part of the royal family and Bedouin warriors. When Dorothy returned to England in the late 1940s she started a freelance art career concentrating on portrait painting of children. She worked substantially to commission and would usually paint two portraits of a child during several sittings, one full face and one three quarter face leaving the parents to make the choice. Her portraits were known to be “fresh with a spark of character and wonderfully lively”.

More Information
Code ps374
Artist Dorothy Colles (1917-2003)
Date Mid 20th Century
Dimensions 41.8 x 30.4cm
Framed No
Medium Pastel
Style Realism
Subject Portrait
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