'Nasturtiums' is the most arresting in a series of women-in-garden paintings which E Phillips Fox created over 1911–12. It features his characteristic use of reflected and dappled light as decorative patterning, and highlights the influence of fashionable Japonisme and Japanese print design. The model for 'Nasturtiums' was the young Australian artist Edith Anderson, who stayed with the artist and his wife Ethel Carrick over 1912.
However, as the title of the painting implies, Fox’s focus is on resolving a highly decorative composition (and less on painting an individual or capturing a moment of observation). He uses the model’s mauve and black accoutrements just as a still-life painter would arrange the objects of his composition, for the greatest formal effect.
Miss Edith Anderson
Mrs Penleigh Boyd
Reading in the garden
oil on canvas
91.5 x 71.5 cm stretcher; 108.0 x 88.0 x 10.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, black oil " E.Phillips Fox". Not dated.
Purchased in memory of Margaret Olley with funds donated by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales Collection Circle 2011
Shown in 2 exhibitions
The Art of E. Phillips Fox, National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne, 09 Nov 1994–30 Jan 1995
Art, love and life: Ethel Carrick and E. Phillips Fox, Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane, 16 Apr 2011–07 Aug 2011
Referenced in 20 publications
Tim Douglas., The Australian, 'Capon unveils Olley tribute at AGNSW', Canberra, 10 Oct 2011, (col. illus). Image shows Director Edmund Capon in front of the painting on display in Court 9.
Mary Eagle, The oil paintings of E Phillips Fox in the National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 1997, 62 (illus.).
Deborah Edwards and Edmund Capon., Emanuel Phillips Fox 'Nasturtiums': A major acquisition in memory of Margaret Olley, Help purchase 'Nasturtiums', Sydney, Aug 2011, Cover (col. illus), inside text.
Elizabeth Fortescue, Daily telegraph, 'Romance frames our latest acquisition', pg. 53, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 53 (col. illus). P53 of 'extra' section of newspaper.
Fox', Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser, 'Olley honoured with painting, pg. 10, Wagga Wagga, 11 Oct 2011, 10.
Angela Goddard, Art, love and life: Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox, Brisbane, 2011, 97 (col. illus.).
Terry Ingram, The Australian financial review, 'Rodin cast in 2010 to spruce up sale', pg. 11, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011, 11.
John Masters, Look, 'From the president', pg. 13, Sydney, Dec 2011-Jan 2012, 13.
Joyce Morgan, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Honour to Olley as gallery buys in some of her taste', pg. 3, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 3 (col. illus). Image shows Edmund Capon unveiling the painting in Court 9.
Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Sydney, Apr 2012, 11 (colour illus.).
Jill Sykes, Look, Society's "Perfect memorial" to Margaret Olley: flowers and an artist whose work she loved, pg. 15, Sydney, Nov 2011, 15 (col. illus).
David Thomas, Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction: Melbourne 29 August 2012, 'Works from the Wesfarmers collection of Australian art part 1: lots 1-23’, pg. 86-87, Melbourne, 2012, 86.
David Thomas, Deutscher and Hackett Fine art auction: Melbourne Wednesday 31 August 2011, Article on Emanuel Philips Fox (1865-1915), (Lots 12-13) 'Nasturtiums', c1912 & 'On the balcony', c1912, pg. 34-35, Woollahra, Aug 2011, 34-36, 37 (col. illus). lot no. 12
Ruth Zubans, E. Phillips Fox (1865-1915) - His Life and Work, South Yarra, Feb 1995, 150 (col. illus), plate no. C67. cat. no. 406
Ruth Zubans, E Phillips Fox 1865-1915, Melbourne, 1994, 66 (illus.). cat. no. 52
Editor Unknown, Illawarra mercury, 'Fox painting a tribute to Olley', pg. 15, New South Wales, 11 Oct 2011, 15.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Newcastle herald, 'Frame of flowers for Olley', pg. 11, Newcastle, 11 Oct 2009, 18 (illus.). Article sourced from AAP.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily liberal, 'Artist honoured with thing she loved most', pg. 13, Dubbo, 11 Oct 2011, 13. Article under heading 'EWS'.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australian financial review, 'Gallery unveils Olley tribute', pg. 7, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 7 (col. illus).
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Border mail, 'Olley honoured with Phillips Fox painting', pg. 8, Albury, 11 Oct 2011, 8 (illus.).