Aug 19, 2021 - Sale 2578

Sale 2578 - Lot 10

Price Realized: $ 3,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900

JEAN COCTEAU (1889-1963)

Portrait of Mary Butts.
Pencil on paper mounted on board. 263x203 mm; 10 1/4x8 inches. Unsigned on recto but gifted by Cocteau to Glenway Wescott, with Wescott's description and address written in ink on verso. Circa 1928.

Provenance: Chevalier Tony Clark Collection.

Butts, a bisexual English writer, met Cocteau in Paris in the 1920s. The artist would create a similar line drawing portrait of her as the frontispiece for her memoir The Crystal Cabinet, 1937. Butts led a varied and interesting life; she was a disciple of, and co-author to, the occultist Aleister Crowley and was married to the modernist poet John Rodker, with whom she had a daughter. Through Rodker, she befriended and supported the publications of the group of writers which included Ezra Pound, May Sinclair, Roger Fry, Wyndham Lewis, and Ford Madox Ford.