SUSSEX-BORN artist Julie Pannett has just completed a full length portrait in oils of Lavinia, Dowager Duchess of Norfolk, commissioned by the Trustees of Arundel Castle.
It will be displayed in the portrait corridor of the castle in which are hung the portraits of the Dukes and Duchesses of Norfolk, and their families, over the centuries. It will be hung near the portrait of Lavinia, wife of the 16th Earl, already on display, a charming study painted in 1937 by Oswald Birley.
Juliet Pannett's studios are in her home at the Pound House in Angmering village in West Sussex, a rambling part Elizabethan, part Georgian House, much lived in, a few miles from Arundel, and also a few miles from where another great lover of Sussex lived, the
late Johnny Morton, Beachcomber, who so loved the Sussex Downs and its people. He lived in Ferring, in a house called "Melleray."
In her youth, Juliet, when not sketching county cricketers, rambled the Downs with Sussex shepherds.
Among her treasured possessions in her stone flagged hall is the last traditional West Sussex shepherd's crook fashioned by George Mitchell, the crookmaker, and given to her just before he died at the age of 93. There is also a sheep's bell left to her by another well known shepherd.
Works of Juliet Pannett in the National Portrait Gallery include studies of Sir Winston Churchill, Dr Vaughan Williams — apparently an elusive sitter to capture — Lord Alenbrooke, Lord Morrison of Lambeth and the famous anthropologist, Sir Arthur Keith.
While the names of those who have sat for their portraits in the Pound House studios sound like a list from Who's Who, among the more memorable sittings Juliet recalls, not sketched in her studios, but sketched in the Yellow Drawing room of Buckingham Palace, are the first pastel studies ever done of Prince Andrew, at the age of 14, and Prince Edward at the age of 10.
At his mother's request Andrew was wearing his bluegreen Gordonstoun school shirt to bring out the colour of his eyes. While Prince Andrew played pop music on his transistor during his sittings, Prince Edward spent much of his time listening to Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony, and music by Khachaturian during his.
The law is well represented in Juliet's works in studies of Lord Denning. Lord Parker, Lord Widgery, David Napley and many more, The world of music is sketched in many delightfully free flowing studies of Sir John Barbirolli, Sir Arthur Bliss and Yehudi Menuhin.
Her portraits in oils of famous headmasters of public shools include Dom Patrick Barry, OSB, former headmaster of Ampleforth, William Stewart, the Master of Haileybury, Ian Beer, headmaster of Lancing, and then of Harrow, and Jim Woodhouse, headmaster of Rugby and later of Lancing.
Her son, Denis is a superb water colour artist, specialising in Sussex landscapes and in meticulously accurate studies of war time aircraft in flight.
Daughter Elizabeth is a talented abstract painter and designer. Juliet's husband, the late Major Pannell of the Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, was a skilled amateur painter. They were married in the tiny village church at Newtimber, at the foot of the Sussex Downs.
When I called in to see Juliet at work in her studios in Angmering this week I was delighted to come across her portrait sketch of Cardinal Basil Hume, Archbishop of Westminster, reproduced on this page. It was sketched at Archbishop's House while he was at his morning's work at his desk.
Juliet Pannett is a portrait artist who is always searching for the truth in the character of the people she paints or sketches.
She usually begins her portraits with the eyes. Portraits in oils can take up a minimum of five two hour sittings. She paints or sketches confidently and swiftly, frequently chatting with her subjects, and often to a background of classical music. If she is not happy with a portrait it does not leave her studios. Her pastel studies, particularly of children and of young people, are singularly beautiful, and a sound investment for a family for the fu t tire.
Her studio walls are alive with sketches of the famous, and the long first floor studio room overlooking her fine old English garden is a jumble of frames, canvas, paints and jars of brushes, amid the aroma of turpentine and oil paints.
She is a much travelled artist and has just returned from a sketching holiday in China. Her sketch book is crammed with studies of the country ranging from the Great Wall to a circus seating 18,000 people.
One sketch on the train to Hanchow "soft" class, shows pale blue curtains, antimacassars on the chairs, and a pale green cabbage as a table decoration in a charming pot.
The sketch book ends abruptly as Juliet broke her wrist, which friendly Chinese doctors cured by herbal medicine, and by two dainty wooden splints decorated with paintings of little blue flowers.
Happily, with her wrist completely mended, she has just set off for Scotland for a portrait painting session in a Scottish castle.
Sussex saint honoured in stone
ANGMERING is but a few miles from the Cathedral of our Lady and Saint Philip Howard in Arundel. It is only just over one hundred years old, built in the French Gothic style of about 1400, but it has a really warm cosy and prayerful atmosphere in a most matter of fact way.
Joseph Aloysius Hansom, better known as the inventor of the Hansom Cab, was the architect and Henry, the fifteenth Duke of Norfolk, put up the money. It is not only the parish church of Arundel but is also the Cathedral of the comparatively new diocese of Arundel and Brighton.
While it is famous because it contains the shrine in which lie the relics of Saint Philip Howard (1557-1595), the thirteenth Earl of Arundel, and one of the forty English and Welsh Elizabethan martyrs, particularly moving is the simple memorial on the wall to the left of his tomb to the five Maxwell-Stuart brothers.
What devoted brothers these must have been, four — Henry, Edmund, Joseph and Alfred — killed in action in World War 1, and the fifth, Philip, to die in a prisoner of war camp in the Far East in World War II.
Saint Philip Howard, whose relics are in his shrine in the north transept, was the son of Thomas, the fourth Duke of Norfolk who was beheaded by the Virgin Queen in 1572 for his
involvement in the affair of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
Philip Howard who was born in 1557, became a glittering young blade at the court of Elizabeth, and was reconciled to his religion by Fr Weston, a missionary priest.
He sought liberty of conscience by sailing for the continent from Littlehampton, but was betrayed, captured at sea, and lodged in the Tower where he was subjected to countless interrogations.
He was sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered on a trumped up charge of treason but then left to waste away dayby-day from malnutrition. He was probably poisoned by his captors after spending 11 of his 39 years, as a prisoner in the Tower of London.
While in the Beauchamp Tower, in the Tower of London. he cut in the stone over the fireplace a Latin inscription which can still be seen by visitors today.
It reads in translation, "the more affliction we endure for Christ in this world, the more glory we shall obtain with Christ in the next." The date of this inscription is cut in the stone "June 22, 1587".
In the charmingly simple Lady Chapel in the Arundel Cathedral is the first English Tabernacle to be made after the so-called Reformation. It was made in 1730 for Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk, by Charles Kandler "Goldsmith at the Miter in St. Martin's Lane".
The Cathedral is a powerful tribute to an amazing family which is both exalted and humble.