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Lady Randolph Churchill (1854-1921) hand painted onto photographic base, circa 1895


Artist: Ernest Rinzi

signed on the obverse E Rinzi, gold mount

From 1868 she lived in Paris, and at the start of the Franco-Prussian War, moved to England. At a ball in August 1873 aboard the HMS Ariadne, moored off Cowes, Isle of Wight, she met Lord Randolph Churchill, youngest son of the Duke of Marlborough. A case of love at first sight, they became engaged the following day and married the following year. Of their two sons, the elder, Winston, was to become British Prime Minister.

Five years after her husband's death in 1895, she married the 26 year old Captain George Cornwallis-West. They divorced in 1913 and she married again in 1918, Montagu Phippen Porch, a colonial administrator. Considered a great beauty in her time, her dark looks were said to be a legacy from an Iroquois ancestor. As well as supporting the political ambitions of her first husband and then a son, she was an editor and playwright. Like her son, she was an ardent opponent of Women's suffrage. Most surprisingly, she was one of the first Society women to have a tatoo. She died in June 1921, and was buried beside her first husband at Bladon, near Blenheim Palace.

Rinzi had a wealthy clientele and was very prolific.
The photographic base was taken by W. & D. Downey. W. & D. Downey were Victorian studio photographers operating in London from the 1860s to the 1910s. William Downey became known as Queen Victoria's photographer.

Provenance: Bonhams 7 October, 2003
More Information
Year                 Circa 1895.
Medium                 over painted photograph,
Signed                 signed on the obverse E Rinzi
Condition                 Good, hand painted photograph
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