Leo Klin, 1887-1967
Portrait of Lady Eleanor Smith 1902-1945
Lady Eleanor Smith 1902-1945
3rd September 1925

"Leo Klin 1925" and further signed "Eleanor Smith"

pencil and pastel
12 x 16 in. (31 x 41 cm.)


Lady Eleanor Furneaux Smith (1902, Birkenhead – 1945) was an English writer. Eldest child of Frederick Edwin Smith, Conservative politician and Lord Chancellor, who was created Earl of Birkenhead in 1922, she was one of  three children. She travelled more widely as a publicist for circus companies. She believed that her paternal great-grandmother was a gypsy, and she spent much of her short life researching Romany culture - albeit from a very romanticised point of view. she worked as a society reporter and cinema reviewer for a while, then as a publicist for circus companies. In the latter role she travelled more widely, and gained inspiration for her third career, writing popular novels and short stories which often provided the basis for the 'Gainsborough melodramas' of the period. These stories often had a romanticised historical or Gypsy setting, based on her own research into Romany culture (she believed one of her paternal great-grandmothers to have been a Gypsy).Smith also wrote ghost stories; many of them were collected in her book Satan's Circus (1932). Smith was a supporter of the Conservative Party.  Lady Eleanor Smith had been a devotee of the British circus and was a founder of the Circus Fans' Association of Great Britain.

Artist biography

Leo Klin 1887-1967, was born in Grodno, Russia where he studied at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, St Petersburg. In England he exhibited widely, including RA, RP, UA, NEAC and throughout the provinces. Sunderland Museum and Art Gallery and Russell-Cotes Art Gallery, Bournemouth hold his work. he lived in London.