Chandor's Portraits
Malcolm Vaughn
Brentano's, New York, 1942

H.M. Queen Marie of Roumania




IT WAS in the autumn of 1926 that Chandor sailed for the United States. Aboard the liner he was introduced to a titled fellow-passenger, Queen Marie of Roumania, who presently proposed that he do a portrait of her in the course of the leisurely days at sea. He brought out the only materials at hand, colored crayons, and in a couple of half-hour sittings made this pastel drawing as a preliminary sketch for an oil portrait to be done in the future. The later composition happened never to be carried through.


The artist had been struck by the handsome features of the Queen, her picturesque attire and eloquent charm. These observations he accordingly reflected in his drawing. She herself was delighted with it; indeed, she said it was the happiest portrait of her that had been done in years.


When it came to including this sketch in his book, the artist demurred. It seems that the picture still in his mind is the portrait of Queen Marie that he never painted—a painting more measured and intense. It is he, however, not the sketch, that has been ruled out, for surely the sketch succeeds in summarizing an informal mood and aspect of the Queen seldom found in the official paintings of her.