Florence Greaves (1873-1959) was one of Julian Ashton's first students at his Sydney Art School and also studied at the Slade School, London between 1925 and 1929. It is likely that she met Tom Roberts through Ashton. Roberts painted portraits of both Florence and her mother in the 1890s. In 1902 she married William Mofflin, a wool merchant; they divorced in 1915. Later she changed her name by deed poll to Florence Turner Blake after her great-grandparents and in honour of the artists she most admired. Several watercolours by her, influenced by Charles Conder's fan designs, are in the Gallery's collection. When she died she left almost all of her estate to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, at the time the largest bequest by an individual to the Gallery. Included was Tom Roberts' much admired painting of her and this pastel. Funds from her bequest are still used to purchase works for the collection.
excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005
pastel on paper
41.0 x 34.5 cm sheet; 39.8 x 33.5 cm sight edge; 58.8 x 52.4 x 2.9 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., red pastel "Tom Roberts/ 1898".
Bequest of Florence Turner Blake 1959
Not on display
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Purchases and Acquisitions for 1959, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Mar 1960–18 Apr 1960
Fin de Siècle: posters prints drawings from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 Jan 1994–13 Mar 1994
Tom Roberts (1996-1997), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1997–01 Jun 1997
19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005
Impressions: painting light and life, National Portrait Gallery [Parliamentary Zone], Canberra, 25 Nov 2011–04 Mar 2012
Referenced in 10 publications
Sarah Engledow, Impressions: painting light & life, Catalogue essay, pg. 7-16, Canberra, 2011, 11, 120 (caption), 121 (colour illus.). cat.no. 52
Renée Free, Fin de Siècle, Sydney, Jan 1994. no catalogue numbers
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian images from the past: whether rarely seen or familiar, these works move and delight us', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Apr 2005, 26 (colour illus.).
Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 10, 120, 121 (colour illus.).
Hal Missingham (Director), Purchases and acquisitions for 1959, Sydney, 1959, 19. cat.no. 39
Virginia Spate, Tom Roberts, Melbourne, 1978, 116 (illus.), 117, 148. illus.no. 43
Daniel Thomas, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Tom Roberts', pg. 466-487, Sydney, Jul 1969, 474-475, 477 (illus.).
Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 1 - Text, Melbourne, 1985, 154. cat.no. 293
Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 2 - Plates, Melbourne, 1985, (illus.). plate no. 131; cat.no. 293
Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts, 'Portraiture and Nationalsim', pg. 148, Adelaide, 1996, 156, 157 (colour illus.), 210 (illus.).