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Arthur Severn soon abandoned the sober Civil Service for art. Lazy, in 1871, he opportunistically married Joan Ruskin Agnew (1846–1924), the cousin, eventual guardian, of John Ruskin. He was generous to them, but following his 1878 break-down, they lived at Brantwood. Joan had to mediate between Ruskin and her socially ambitious but resentful drone of a husband. Charitable though he was, Ruskin resented being regarded as a meal-ticket.
oil on canvas
61 x 51 cm
gift from the artist, 1901