Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.45.
This painting shows a view from the artist’s bedroom, 12 Maple Road, Wren’s Nest, Dudley. Wren’s Nest – a famous geological site (and today a Nature Reserve) near Dudley – was a green oasis in the industrial Black Country. On its slopes Dudley built the first of its council houses. The Shakespeares (Percy was the fourth of eight children) were re-housed to Wren’s Nest in the late 1920s, from the Dudley slums. As a painter he triumphed over the rigors of his environment to become a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy and twice at the Paris Salon. The bedroom, which Percy shared with one of his three brothers, also doubled as his studio and served as the setting for his striking self-portrait, Morning Exercise, 1934.
We are grateful to Robin Shaw for his assistance.