(Australia 10 Jan 1866 – 07 Oct 1914)
42.0 x 35.5 cm
Emily Meston was probably a more significant portrait painter than a painter of still lifes, but the Art Gallery of New South Wales rarely acquired large oil portraits by women, preferring small still-life studies which conformed to the ‘decorative’ stereotype then attached to ‘women’s art’.
In the inaugural Society of Artists exhibition in 1895, however, when Meston’s 'Portrait of Rev G McInnes' was shown alongside her 'Study of grapes', it was called ‘the strongest portrait, so far as The Bulletin knows, yet painted in Australia by a woman’. The Trustees of the Gallery had purchased 'Study of grapes' nine days earlier.
Joan Kerr (Editor), Heritage: The national women's art book, Sydney, 1995, 10, 11 (colour illus.). cat.no. 14. Entry by Joan Kerr. Biography by Joan Kerr pg.406.
Society of Artists First Exhibition (1895), York Street Skating Rink, Sydney, 28 Sep 1895–20 Oct 1895