Period: Inner worlds

Mary Widney Mary Widney
painted in Paris, c. 1927
oil on wood panel 46 x 37.5 cm
not signed, not dated
private collection

In the 1920s Bowen sought portrait commissions, but she found that despite the income, this work sometimes left her for long periods of time without knowing when her next job would come. Nevertheless, her portraiture ability would become an increasingly important source of income and her many literary and artistic acquaintances provided opportunities for her to complete significant portraits.

Mary Widney had come from Chicago with her musician husband Bill to live in Montparnasse, where she explored her literary interests. They became good friends with Bowen and Ford, with whom they regularly played bridge.