Friday, 21 January 2011

Lady Agnew

Agnew - by Singer Sergeant
This is possibly Fantasy Bob's favourite picture in the National Galleries of Scotland - John Singer Sergeant's portrait of Lady Agnew of Loch Achnaw.  It speaks for itself - Test Match quality.

Sergeant was the son of American parents but grew up mostly in France.  In the years surrounding the turn of the 20th Century he had great success as a society portrait painter.  In his later years he rather fell out of fashion as 20th Century artists developed new approaches. 

Regretably, his work does not feature any cricketing themes.  So it is unlikely that Lady Agnew is posing just having set the tea out in the pavilion of Achnaw CC - for no other reason that Achnaw (which is in deepest Galloway) has never been blessed with a cricket club.

Lady Agnew - Getrude to her pals - was married to Andrew the 9th Baron Achnaw who was a soldier and later MP for Edinburgh South (a constituency that probably included Carlton's HQ).  So this gives Carlton a link with the picture.  Gertrude may well have graced the ground on a sunny afternoon and enjoyed a Magners or two while lounging on the hill in her shorts and halter top.

Agnew - not by Singer Sergeant
But is there another possible cricket link?  Study the face carefully.  That long nose, those fabulous eyebrows.  The knowing superiority.  Is it only Fantasy Bob's runaway imagination, but do they carry definite resemblances to the Agnew de nos jours?

Put your imagination away FB - for history says that Sir Andrew and Lady Aggers had no issue.  Bad luck Jonathan Agnew - you are not the mysterious long lost heir to a castle in Galloway after all.

But FB encourages you to visit the Galleries in Edinburgh's Princes Street and see Lady Aggers - she's in an upper gallery.  Test match quality - as is the complete NSG collection.

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