Figure in a garden (The aunt)
Roy de Maistre
27 Mar 1894 - 01 Mar 1968
De Maistre's friendship with fellow Australian Patrick White whom he met in London in 1936 was an important one for both artist and writer. 'Figure in a garden (The aunt)' was prompted by a photograph of a relative as a young woman in Edwardian dress, found by de Maistre amongst the bombed ruins of Chelsea Barracks. The painting inspired White to create the subject for his 1948 novel The Aunt's Story and was used on the cover of the first edition of this book.
The Aunt, 1945 [Whitechapel Art Gallery, Retrospective 1960, Cat.No.62].
Figure in a garden (The Aunt)
oil on hardboard
90.5 x 63.5 cm board; 108.0 x 80.5 x 7.2 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, black oil "R de Maistre [underlined]". Not dated.
Gift of Patrick White 1974
Not on display
© Caroline de Mestre Walker
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Roy de Maistre: Retrospective exhibition of Paintings and Drawings 1917-1960, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, May 1960–Jun 1960
Project 14 - Roy de Maistre: 1894-1968 (1976), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Sep 1976–04 Oct 1976
Roy de Maistre - St Jean de Luz, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, 25 Feb 2000–30 Apr 2000
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
The life of Patrick White:
Referenced in 14 publications
Nancy Borlase., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art', Sydney, 17 Sep 1976. Review of Project 14
Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian 20th Century Art', pg. 71-89, Sydney, 1984, 86 (colour illus.).
Peter Craven, The life of Patrick White, Canberra, 2012, 24. cat.no. 36
Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Moderns', pg. 103-104, Sydney, 2000, 111 (colour illus.), 301.
Dr David Hansen, Important Australian and International Art: Melbourne 22 November 2011, Catalogue entry for Lot 12 Roy de Maistre 'La Folie', pg. 30-31, Melbourne, 2011, 30.
Helen Verity Hewitt, Patrick White, painter, manqué: paintings, painters and their influence on his writing, 'Jardin exotique', pg. 20-27, Carlton, 2002, 20-21, 131.
Heather Johnson, Roy de Maistre: The english years, New South Wales, 1995, 35 (illus.).
Heather Johnson, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Roy de Maistre / Roland Wakelin', pg. 48-59, Sydney, 2002, 52 (colour illus.), 143, 147.
David Marr, Patrick White: A life by David Marr, Milsons Point, 1991, 237, 262.
Sir John Rothenstein and Bryan Robertson, Roy de Maistre: A retrospective exhibition of paintings and drawings from 1917-1960, London, 1960, 14. cat.no. 62; titled: 'The aunt'; dated: 1945; Coll: Patrick White, Esq.
Stephen Sasse, Companion notes to 'The aunt's story' by Patrick White, Blackheath, 2012, front cover (colour illus.).
Daniel Thomas., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Painting's influence on literature', Sydney, 14 Sep 1976.
Daniel Thomas (Curator), Project 14: Roy de Maistre 1894-1968, Sydney, 1976, (illus.). cat.no. 23
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australian financial review, 'De Maistre - not a discordant note among those who mattered', pg. 28, Sydney, 26 Sep 1974, 28. titled 'The Aunt'