Mrs C Sargeant Jagger, 1917
Oil on canvas, signed
22 x 18 inches
The artist's family, and thence by descent
Royal Academy, 1917, no 507
David Jagger distanced himself from his Northern working-class upbringing and thrived as a society portrait painter in London. Unlike his brother, the sculptor Charles Sargeant Jagger, he was a pacifist and did not fight in the war. In 1917 David painted this portrait of his sister-in-law Bobby at his Chelsea studio. Violet Constance Smith, known as ‘Bobby’, had been born ‘within the sound of Bow Bells’ in the City of London in November 1892. She met Charles in 1911 and they married in 1916. Charles paid for singing lessons for Bobby and she went on to become a concert singer and pianist. She claimed to be the seventh child of a seventh child, which she felt made her clairvoyant; she gave psychic readings under the name of ‘Madam Roberta’.