Dorothy Mahoney (1902-1984):
Study from the Queen Mary Psalter, late 1920's
Framed (ref: 2648)
Watercolour ink and gold leaf on vellum
10.6 x 7.5 in. (27 x 19 cm)
Provenance: The Artists Daughter; thence by descent
Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, et al. Women Only Works on Paper. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p. 72.
Dorothy Mahoney (née Bishop) entered the School of Design at the Royal College of Art in 1924 with Book Illustration as her principal subject. From 1926-28 she also took classes in lettering and illumina- tion with Edward Johnston, to whom she became student-assistant. Students were encouraged to copy early English manuscripts from the golden age of calligraphy. This page is copied from the English 14th century Queen Mary Psalter, the original of which is in the British Museum but the facsimile made in 1912 is held in the Victoria and Albert Museum next to the Royal College of Art. Mahoney’s book, The Craft of Calligraphy (1982) was, and remains, one of the standard reference works on the subject.
In Walled Garden Amongst Kentish Orchards, Mahoney’s skill in illumination and penmanship is shown in the precise delineation of the tulip petals and trellis work.