Letter from Ralph Vaughan Williams to Sir Gerald Kelly

Letter No.: 
November 20th 1957

From R. Vaughan Williams,
10, Hanover Terrace,
Regents Park,
London, N.W.1.

Dear Sir Gerald1

I have been laid low with a ridiculous disease called phlebitis, and the doctor says I must keep my leg up for a week or two: so I fear that I cannot come to you to put my hand right till the doctor has put my leg right.  As a matter of fact, I think the portrait, hands and all, very good as it stands.2

R. Vaughan Williams

1.  Gerald Kelly had painted VW for the Royal College of Music in 1952 but had asked to paint him again.  The hands were never quite finished and had to be completed from photographs after VW’s death. The portrait is now in the National Portrait Gallery.
2.  Covering note from UVW: ‘Dear Sir Gerald, I wonder if you can wait?  I do hope so - the doctor thinks this won’t be a very long business. I should think (and hope) a fortnight will see Ralph on his feet again.  I wish we’d seen your programme.  We don’t have television, & usually we are thankful, but this time, sorry.  Greetings to you both, Ursula Vaughan Williams  Please forgive!’.

Location of original letter:

Shelfmark of original letter: 
Add. MS 69816, ff.24-25
Cobbe 728
Original database number: