This early-20th century portrait by Ronald Ossory Dunlop of the actor and artist Jean Shepeard sold for £3200 at John Nicholson's.

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Shepeard was one of Dunlop’s lovers and he encouraged and supported her to paint. She went on to exhibit with him, Vanessa Bell and others at the Modern Picture Library in Bloomsbury. Dunlop also founded The Emotionist Group in 1923, a somewhat obscure society of artists, writers and musicians, which included Shepeard and her friend and flatmate, the famous stage actor Peggy Ashcroft.

Executed in Dunlop’s typical impasto style, the 8½ x 8in (22 x 20cm) oil on canvas, inscribed and dated 1927, came from a house clearance and was offered at Haslemere saleroom John Nicholson’s (25% buyer’s premium) on January 29 estimated at £300-500.

As a portrait of a known sitter made during the painter’s experimental early years it attracted multiple bids and was knocked down to a London gallery for £3200.