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Swinton 3
Elizabeth Ebsworth Swinton, OBE (1877-1966)

Painted by John Singer Sargent in 1897. See entry for Swinton in the WA Auld Scots

In 1895, Capt. Swinton married “Elsie” Elizabeth Ebsworth, OBE, daughter of E.H. Ebsworth of Gattonside, who was born in 1874, they had one son and two daughters. Elsie was a fabulously beautiful woman who apparently sang like an angel. The couple enjoyed friends who were artists & musicians and her portrait in oils “Mrs. George Swinton” which was painted by John Singer Sargent in 1897. This painting we consider to be one of Sargent’s best.

Sargent also drew a mug shot of her in 1906 to be used to promote her singing career.
Imagine, an Edwardian socialite hostess becoming a professional singer..... to say the least this caused a tidal wave of shock at the time in “London Society”, but she persevered and became a successful singer in the period before WW1. After the Great War, her family and friends prevailed on her to “abandon” her career and to limit her activities to good works. The couple sold the Sargent portrait in 1922 because it was so large ( 90” x 49” ) and they had no place to hang it when they moved. Today the painting hangs in the “Art Institute of Chicago”.

Although a Brit. She grew up in the Russian Capital of St. Petersburg and has left accounts of her life in pre-revolutionary Russia. Elsie died in 1966. Her great granddaughter is Tilda Swinton the film actress. See in this Album for Lord Lyon Capt. Swinton's bio. Entry.

2020 0922
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