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Sir Francis Rose

Francis Rose (1909-1979), heir to a Scottish baronetcy, was born in England, but brought up in the South of France. He lived in Paris between 1929 and 1936, where he studied with Francis Picabia and José Maria Sert and worked on set designs for Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Rose painted in Brittany with Christopher Wood in 1929. In 1930, Rose shared his first exhibition with Salvador Dalí.

In 1931, Rose was introduced to Gertrude Stein who became his patron and friend, and to her partner, Alice B. Toklas (he later illustrated The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook). He travelled extensively in the 1930s and exhibited in Paris, London and New York. Rose continued to exhibit in London and Paris in the 1950s and 1960s, with a major retrospective in London and Brighton in 1966. In 1961, Rose published his memoir, Saying Life; and in 1972, made a brief appearance as 'Lord Chaos' in Kenneth Anger's film Lucifer Rising.

England & Co held Sir Francis Rose – A Retrospective in 1988. In 2012, his painting, Hommage à Gertrude Stein, was included in the exhibition, The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso and the Parisian Avant Garde, which traveled from San Francisco MOMA to the Grand Palais, Paris and the Metropolitan Museum, New York. His work is represented in the Yale University Art Gallery (Stein-Toklas Collection), the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the British Museum.

England & Co hold a collection of works by Sir Francis Rose, with selected examples illustrated here. A very few copies are available for sale of the first edition of Saying Life – The Memoirs of Sir Francis Rose (1961), please email the gallery for details.

Drawings & works on paper   


L’Ensemble - Details

L’Ensemble 1938
79 x 138 inches
Oil on canvas.
Exhibited in 1939 at Le Petit Palais Musée des Beaux Arts, Paris.

From left: Madame Wellington Koo, Emmy Sommermann, Russell Hitchcock, Natalie Barney, Diana Varé, Serge Lifar, George Maratier, Francis Rose, Christian Bérard, Pavel Tchelitchev, Alice B.Toklas, Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Louis Bromfield, Tyrone Power, Virgil Thompson, Francis Picabia, Billy Mayor.

Hommage à  Gertrude Stein - Details

Hommage à Gertrude Stein (Tribute to Gertrude Stein) 1949
80 x 56 inches
Oil, tempera, watercolour and wax on paper

Provenance: Formery in the collection of Alice B. Toklas.

Christian Bérard – The Death Mask - Details

Christian Bérard – The Death Mask 1948
81.5 x 58 inches
Ink and gouache on paper

Portrait of Josephine Baker (with Stars in Her Eyes)  - Details

Portrait of Josephine Baker (with Stars in Her Eyes) 1948
30 x 22 inches
Monoprint drawing with mixed media.

Private collection.