Wilthew, Guy (1876-1930) by Scholes, Robert

Guy Wilthew (1876 – 1930) He was a figure and portrait painter, based in London. Sources give two different dates for his death, 1913 and 1930. We know that he showed a portrait of Mlle Nathalie Thibault with the Royal Institute in February, 1913, but we are seeking more information about him and images of his work. The following information was sent to us by Margot Binns, as were the images below. I came across your site on the internet requesting information about Guy Wilthew. He was my grandfather, but was actually born with the name Gerard Herbert Guy SMITH. He was born at Shortlands Grove, Beckenham, Kent 31st January 1876. The story as my mother told me was that a distant relative had no heirs to name in her will. She didn’t want the name Wilthew to die out, so asked my Great grandfather Walter Smith to take the name by deedpoll in return for the legacy. Walter had three sons and a daughter, so it seemed a good bet that the name would live on. Unfortunately she was wrong. The only one of the three sons to have a son was my grandfather and he died a bachelor in about 1968 (my uncle was also called Guy Wilthew) My grandfather went to a small village called Le Faouet in Brittany to paint and rented a studio from my great grandfather Louis Le Leuxhe. Guy fell in love with Louis’ daughter (my grandmother) and so he married Marguerite Le Leuxhe. They had three children Guy, Armelle and Marguerite (my mother) Unfortunately my grandfather died when my mother was only three years old, so Guy Wilthew’s lifespan was 1876-1920. The family continued to live in France but moved to Vannes when my mother was 10. My mother then went to the Beaux Arts at Nantes, she was there for a few years, but her studies were interrupted by the war. My mother, her sister Armelle and my grandmother all received a certificate from Dwight D Eisenhower for service to the American people. During the war they harboured American airmen who had been shot down over France and helped to get them through the chain and back to England (normally on the fishing boats out at sea) My mother then met my father during the dday landings, he was a Royal marine commando, funnily enough my father’s surname was Guy! So my mother came to England in 1946 to marry my father – hence I am English. Unfortunately my mother died in 2000, she was a wonderful, talented and intelligent lady – I miss her so much. We have loads of her paintings. I only have a few of my grandfather’s paintings, but not his best works – 4 portraits and 4 landscapes. The cream is at the family home in Vannes where my cousin still lives. However there is one of his paintings hanging at the museum set up by the Mairie (town hall) at Le Faouet, along with work by my great grandfather Louis LeLeuxhe (a 12′ religious arched painting) and work by my great uncle Alphonse LeLeuxhe.

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