Francis Marshall          1901-1980

Francis Marshall, like Charles Dana Gibson , is one of the few artists to have given his name to a particular type of feminine beauty, and from the nineteen thirties on, the Marshall Girl was as celebrated as was the Gibson Girl in her day. The Marshall Girl , featured in nearly every issue of Vogue in the decade before the war, and also in the prestigious advertisements of Jaeger and Elizabeth Arden , was an elegant creature with unswept hair, high cheekbones and a lovely figure, equally at home in a ballgown or on the racecourse ,but she was a relaxed and friendly woman too. Women could aspire to look like her who would never have identified with the cold, arrogant fashion plates of the French artist of the same period. After the war, the Marshall Girl decorated the pages of the Daily Mail for nearly twenty years.

Francis Marshall was as skilful at drawing settings as he was with figures, and the backgrounds to his fashion drawings are a delight. But this talent took him beyond fashion into the world of illustrating and war reporting. A Naval Officer in the First World War, and a Camouflage Officer in the Second, he did some fine reportage in the nineteen-forties of war scenes and blitzed buildings.

He was born in 1901 and died in 1980, after a long and happy marriage to Margaret, whose face and figure inspired much of his early work.

Anne Scott-James

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© 2015 Michael Parkin Fine Art