Welsh painter and writer, Percy Elizabeth Flora Beach Thomas was born in Walton East, Pembrokeshire (Wales) and was baptized on April 19, 1868 by her father, William Beach Thomas, vicar of the Church of England and a member of an outstanding family in the region. She studied at the Welsh Girls’ School in Ashford, Middlesex. As a portraitist, she exhibited regularly at the Royal Society of British Artist (London), the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (Glasgow) and the Royal Academy (London) between 1895 and 1910. Some of her paintings are on display in the National Museum Wales: Portrait of writer CE Vulliamy (1886-1971) dated 1902 and portrait of Dr. Henry Owen (1844-1919) painted around 1914. In 1919, she explored a new path as a writer of literary works set in or referencing her county, Pembrokeshire, among others: Down the Line (1919), Aura and Others (1919) and especially The Builders of Mildford (1920), giving an account of Quaker whaling families from Nantucket, Massachusetts (USA) who founded the Welsh port of Mildford in 1793. With this novel she achieved great renown as shown by the successive editions until the 1950s.
Flora Thomas passed away in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire on October 30, 1955.
This self-portrait was painted in 1906 when she was 38 years old. She appears seated before her easel and looking at the viewer in apparent semi-darkness. Oil on canvas glued to hardboard. Good general condition, with minor wrinkling in the lower left third. On the back, possibly the name of a previous owner: D.N (?) Knight. The Art Nouveau frame with carved floral motifs is likely original.
Artist: Percy Elizabeth Flora Beach Thomas (1868-1955).
Signed and dated in lower right corner: P.E.F. Thomas, 1906.
Medium: Oil on canvas glued to hardboard.
Condition: Good condition.
Dimensions: 50 x 40 cm. / 20 x 16 in.
Frame: 57.5 x 48 cm. / 22 1/2 x 19 in. Gilt wood, good condition.