It has been suggested that this charming and informal portrait of a young art student is in fact a depiction of Robin Guthrie?s wife, Kathleen. Kathleen Guthrie (1905-1981) was slightly younger than Robin and it is likely that the present work was painted after the latter had finished his own studies. Kathleen followed her time as a student at the Slade with a period of further study at the Royal College of Art. Their marriage was not a successful one. She divorced Robin Guthrie in the mid 1930s and married the British abstract painter John Cecil Stephenson. She soon became a notable abstract painter in her own right. During their marriage, Robin Guthrie was appointed to the prestigious post of head of the Boston School of Art in the U.S.A.. This was a post he held jointly with his friend and fellow painter, Rodney Burn.
I am grateful to Paul Liss for his assistance in researching this picture.