91.8 x 59.7cm stretcher; 118.5 x 86.5 x 9.0cm frame
While many British painters in the early decades of the twentieth century were drawn to the subtlety of Cézanne's technique, Matthew Smith embraced the more dramatic devices of Gauguin and Matisse. Smith spent time in the latter's Paris studio in 1910, albeit without sighting the master, and developed a personal manner based on fauvist principles of pure colour, bold simplification of form and a marked sensuousness of application. 'La chemise jaune', named for the molten yellow slip modelled by the opulent Vera Cunningham, shows Smith's gift for the disposition of fiery hues across a broadly painted composition. Fauve painting is not the exclusive predecessor of the work. Smith was well aware of Delacroix's chromatic experiments almost a century earlier. Indeed, Vera is presented for inspection in the time-honoured guise of an odalisque, in this case in vulnerable repose. The artist produced many images of her, frequently nude. Her Rubenesque roundness recalls the many representations of fruit in the artist's 'oeuvre'.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.
Hanover Gallery, London (England), 1953, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from the Hanover Gallery 1953
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd (England), 1951, London/England
Eardley Knollys (England, b.1902, d.1991), circa 1942, England
Mayor Gallery (England), 1926, London/England
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 58 (colour illus.).
Peter Tomory (United Kingdom) (Author), Anne Kirker (New Zealand; Australia, b.1947) (Author), British painting 1800-1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 160. cat.no. 2009
Ewen McDonald (Australia) (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, Sydney, 1994, 156, 157 (colour illus.).
Annabel Davie (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Handbook, Domain, 1988, 55.
Renée Free (Australia) (Author), Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 180 (illus.).
Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Editor), Jan Meek (Australia) (Editor), Portrait of a Gallery, Sydney, 1984, 91.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Domain, 1972, 44 (colour illus.).
Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd (England), Paintings of various periods by Matthew Smith, 1951. cat.no. 17, as '1925'
Paintings by Matthew Smith, Mayor Gallery, Apr 1926–Apr 1926.
Jacob Epstein, Matthew Smith, Temple Newsam House, 12 Jul 1942–14 Sep 1942.
Paintings of various periods by Matthew Smith, Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, 20 Jun 1951–14 Jul 1951.
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1953, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 10 Mar 1954–04 Apr 1954.
Matthew Smith - Roderic O'Conor, David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, 07 Jul 1965–28 Jul 1965.