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An image of Portrait of Lucie Beynis by Grace Crowley

Grace Crowley

(Australia 28 May 1890 – 21 Apr 1979)

Portrait of Lucie Beynis
Other titles:
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas on hardboard

79.7 x 64.5 cm stretcher; 92.4 x 77.1 x 3.3 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, (pencil?) "GRACE CROWLEY [faint]". Not dated.
Purchased 1965
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission of Grace Crowley Estate
20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

Completed on the eve of her return to Sydney following four years of study in France, 'Portrait of Lucie Beynis' depicts a professional model whom Crowley painted over a period of four mornings whilst attending L'Academie Lhote in Paris.

Crowley recounted, 'we were united in one belief, the constructive approach to painting, and this insistence of the abstract elements in building up a design was the keynote of teaching with Lhote and Gleizes ... we were discouraged from making merely a faithful record of the nude [model] ... the abstract elements in line, shape and colour were introduced in order to induce the student to construct from it a design within a given space'.

Lhote's modified version of Cubism was one in which the human figure is retained, held within a field of dissecting geometric planes and shafts of colour running through the body. This approach dominated Crowley's semi-abstract paintings during the thirties, until her departure into pure abstraction in the 1940s.

Bibliography (17)

Jude Adams, Barbara Hall and Jennifer Barber, Project 21: Women's images of women, Sydney, 1977. 12; Collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 103 (colour illus.).

Janine Burke, Australian women artists 1840-1940, Collingwood, 1980, 52, 111 (colour illus.). plate no. 33

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Moderns', pg. 103-104, Sydney, 2000, 104, 125 (colour illus.), 300.

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 30 (illus.). 29

Anne Gray, Face: Australian portraits 1880-1960, Canberra, 2010, 98.

Lesley Harding, Cubism & Australian art, 'L'Esprit Nouveau 1913-1929', pg. 19-47, Carlton, 2009, 40 (colour illus.).

Lois Hunter, The Australian art companion - A selection of influential artists, 'Grace Crowley', pg. 98-99, Balgowlah Heights, (1990), 98, 99 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 140 (colour illus.).

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 45 (colour illus.).

Jane Somerville, Look, 'Setting the record straight', pg. 15-16, Newtown, Mar 2007, 15 (colour illus.).

Elena Taylor, Grace Crowley: being modern, Canberra, 2006, 21 (colour illus.), 23, 31-32, 59.

Daniel Thomas (Curator), Project 4: Grace Crowley, Sydney, 1975. 14

Natalie Wilson, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Grace Crowley / Ralph Balson / Frank Hinder / Margel Hinder', pg. 88-103, Sydney, 2002, 88. 89 (colour illus.), 142, 147.

Author Unknown, The Australian Womens Diary 1995, 1994, 49, 50 (colour illus.). 77. Entry by Janine Burke. Biography by Janine Burke, p. 337-338.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, Sydney, Apr 1965, (illus.).

Grace Crowley's contribution to Australian modernism and geometric abstraction, 'Paris and André Lhote', pg. 33-35, Newcastle upon Tyne, 2010, 54, 56 (illus.). figure 2.2

Exhibition history (8)

Project 4 - Grace Crowley (1975), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 May 1975–08 Jun 1975

Project 21 - Womens images of women (1977), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Oct 1977–13 Nov 1977

Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986

Review: works by women from the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Mar 1995–04 Jun 1995

Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003

Grace Crowley: being modern:

Australian modern masterpieces from the Art Gallery of New South Wales:

Sydney Moderns, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jul 2013–07 Oct 2013