Freda Robertshaw graduated from the commercial art course at East Sydney Technical College in 1937 having studied drawing, life drawing, oil painting, watercolour and lettering with Frank Medworth, Douglas Dundas, Herbert Badham, William Dobell, Arthur Murch, Charles Meere and others. She apprenticed herself to Charles Meere, her former life drawing teacher, and trained in his neo-classical style. Her feminised version of his 'Australian beach pattern' (1940) from the AGNSW collection, 'Australian beach scene' (1940) demonstrates her great mastering of Meere’s style. Her 'Standing nude (self portrait)' (1944) is another career highlight, and is the earliest nude self-portrait exhibited by a female artist in Australia.
Robertshaw left Meere’s studio after this work was painted and also left behind figurative painting. She returned to her first loves – landscape and flower painting, and her painting style also changed, becoming looser and post-Impressionistic in style.
Still life with bottles
oil on hardboard
40.7 x 30.0 cm board; 53.0 x 42.7 x 3.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, white oil "F ROBERTSHAW". Not dated.
D G Wilson Bequest Fund 2015
Not on display
© Estate of Freda Robertshaw
Shown in 1 exhibition
19th & 20th century fine Australian and international art, Deutscher-Menzies Fine Art, Australia, 21 Aug 2001–21 Aug 2001
Referenced in 2 publications
Deutscher-Menzies Fine Art, 19th & 20th century Fine Australian and International Art: Fine Art auction 20 & 21 August 2001 Melbourne, Melbourne, 2001, 185 (colour illus.). lot no. 242; titled "Still life with bottles"
Leanne Santoro, Look, Sun, sea and standing tall, Sydney, Oct 2015, 18, 20 (colour illus.).