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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot

An interesting fact: The artist Maxwell Gordon Lightfoot, was named after his mother. According to the Tate Gallery: "His mother had acquired her unusual name on the wishes of her sea captain father who prior to being lost at sea during a voyage and, expecting a boy, had left instructions that the baby should be named Maxwell Gordon. The name was bestowed upon the newborn in his memory despite the fact that she was a girl." I wonder how she coped with that.

On 27th September 1911 Lightfoot cut his throat with a razorblade. Apparently, he discovered that his girlfriend, an artist model, had been sleeping with one of his friends. The inquest passed a verdict of "Suicide whilst of Unsound Mind". Despite the fact that he was preparing for an exhibition of his work to be held at the Carfax Gallery, no paintings were found in his studio after his death and it is possible that Lightfoot destroyed them all before killing himself. On announcing his death, The Times claimed that: "All artists and critics.... were united in believing that Lightfoot would enjoy a most distinguished career in the highest rank of painting". Michael Sadleir considered Lightfoot's early death "a disaster to art in England."

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