Stella Lewis Marks MVO, RMS, ASMP (November 27, 1887 – November 18, 1985) was born in the City of Melbourne, Australia. She was an artist, active in Australia, the United States of America, and Great Britain. She is best known as a portrait miniaturist, although she moreover made larger works in oils, charcoal, and pastels.
She was a aficionado of the Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors and Gravers, and the American Society of Miniature Painters. In the before 20th century, she painted a number of Famous personalities, particularly in America, before upsetting to the UK in 1934.
In 1948, she was commissioned to paint a portrait miniature of Queen Elizabeth II, who was later H.R.H. the Princess Elizabeth, by the Duke of Edinburgh, and since then she painted 14 miniatures of members of the British royal family. She was awarded the honor, Member of the Royal Victorian Order on December 30, 1978.
She was married to fellow artist Montagu Marks, who became prominent in the British film industry as general proprietor of London Films.
Stella Marks was born in Carlton, Melbourne, Australia, to Mary (nee Fennell) Lewis and James Joseph Lewis. She expected her artistic training at the National Gallery of Victoria Art School below Lindsay Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin.
In 1912, she painted her first miniature after swine persuaded to do as a result by fellow artists Penleigh Boyd and Montagu Marks.
She moved to New York City like her husband in 1914 and quickly made a publicize for herself in artistic and action circles. In 1916 she was commissioned by the Governor General of Canada, the Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, to paint a miniature of his daughter, the Princess Patricia of Connaught. It was reported that 100,000 copies of the miniature, which was considered by the Princess to be the best existing portrait of herself, were printed and sold upon behalf of the Canadian Red Cross. Signed copies were conclusive by Princess Patricia to the next-of-kin of each fallen enthusiast of her regiment, “The Princess Pat’s”.
Some further notable portrait miniatures painted amongst 1915 and 1934 during her grow old in America (which as well as included trips to Japan, Australia, and Great Britain) were of the famous spy, Sydney Reilly, and his ‘wife’ Nadine; the actresses Marjorie Williamson, Mrs. Madge Carr and Edith Day; musician, Jan Cherniavsky; multi-millionaire, Knox Studebaker; a Japanese lady, Mrs. T. Akaboshi; the occultist, Aleister Crowley; musician and dancer, Maud Allan; and Joseph McKenna, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. The latter two were purchased by the Felton Bequest on behalf of the National Gallery of Victoria’s remaining collection.
In 1934, although not an American citizen, Marks was offered the doling out of the American Society of Miniature Painters. She had to turn beside the rave review due to her involve to the UK. She left New York because her husband, Montagu Marks, joined the film mogul Alexander Korda and became general supervisor of London Films Productions. At the epoch Montagu Marks was pivotal in helping to secure funding for Alexander Korda from Prudential Insurance.
Between 1931 and 1940, a number of Marks’ works were exhibited at the London Royal Academy of Arts.
In 1941, she painted a miniature of Mary Churchill, Winston Churchill’s youngest daughter. It is said that Winston Churchill always carried the miniature taking into consideration him upon his wartime journeys.
In 1948, on the suggestion of Sir James Mann, director of the Wallace Collection, the Duke of Edinburgh commissioned Marks to paint H.R.H. the Princess Elizabeth. As a consequences of this Royal commission, she painted miniatures of Prince Philip and everything the royal children, including the first ever portrait of Prince Charles, aged two.
Another notable miniature of Marks’ later feint was a “miniature within a miniature” of Sir Winston Churchill painted in 1966.
On December 30, 1978, Marks was awarded the honor, Member of the Victorian Order.
In 1980, she resigned from the Royal Miniature Society because she had become concerning completely blind.
Marks died upon November 18, 1985, in Kent, United Kingdom.
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