"Emmeline (Nina) Cust (1867 I955), translator, poet, and sculptor, was
the daughter of Sir William Welby-Gregory fourth Baronet, of Denton Manor,
Grantham. In 1893 she married Henry Cust (1861-1917), Unionist M.P. for
the Stamford division of Lincolnshire (1890-5) and Bermondsey (1900-6)
as well as editor of the Pall Mall Gazette in the 1890s. Through
her marriage, she became a member of the 'Souls,' the exclusive circle
of young men and women, all prominent in public and social life, who formed
the artistic avant-garde in English society in the 1880S and 90s. The
Souls' combination of high style and intense seriousness led them to adopt
Edward Burne-Jones (1833-98)
as their chosen artist, and many families who were considered members
of the group -- the Balfours, Gaskells, Horners, and Lyttletons -- were
his patrons and friends." [Dorment, Victorian High Renaissance,
According to Dorment, Burne-Jones had long influenced
Gilbert's approach to the human figure, but this bust shows the sculptor first using the painter's portrait style with its " tilted head, downcast eyes, and pensive mood," all of which appear in Burne-Jones's 1893 portrait of Lady Windsor.
British Sculpture 1850-1914. A loan exhibition of sculpture and medals sponsored by The Victorian Society. London: Fine Art Society, 1968. no. 80.
Dorment, Richard. Victorian High Renaissance. Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1978. No. 89.