|Portrait of Lord Battersea (Cyril Flower)|
Cyril Flower was rich, handsome, intelligent, energetic, politically active, an enthusiastic sportsman, businessman and a lover of art - quite the ideal Victorian gentleman! This striking portrait, made in the year of his marriage to Constance de Rothschild, focuses on his character - Sandys shows him gazing into the distance like a general at a battle, apparently deep in noble thoughts. The riding crop though, tells us he is also ready for action.
Cyril, made Lord Battersea of Battersea and Overstrand in 1892, was a loyal friend and patron of Sandys. His social network of friends and relatives included some of the wealthiest members of London society and Cyril helped to increase Sandys' commissions for portraits during the 1870s and 1880s, a time when the artist's fortunes had begun to sink.
Cyril and his wife Constance had a keen interest in art and design, owning paintings by several other artists, including Rossetti and Burne-Jones. The Flowers also commissioned the architect Edward Lutyens to transform two holiday villas they owned on the Norfolk coast into a fashionable residence. They named it 'The Pleasaunce' and often lavishly entertained friends there.
Donated by Mrs J. Barclay, 1951
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery