We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Oranges and lemons

(circa 1934)


Alison Rehfisch


23 Jan 1900 – 12 Mar 1975

  • Details

    (circa 1934)
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas
    50.0 x 40.0 cm stretcher; 63.0 x 52.7 x 4.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. corner, grey oil "Rehfisch". Not dated.

    Purchased 1976
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Estate of Alison Rehfisch

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Alison Rehfisch

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Alison Rehfisch's dynamic composition 'Oranges and lemons' portrays a carefully constructed still life using a strict palette. The work depicts a plate, bowl and modernist jug in white and eggshell hues upon a pale tabletop, which fills most of the canvas and flattens the pictorial plane. Scattered fruit, a candleholder and stamped envelopes introduce colour in accordance with the artist's precise tonal scale. Reduced to their essential forms, objects have a geometric quality and are arranged in a diamond shape – leaving the corners of the canvas empty – which accentuates the flatness of the composition.

    Rehfisch travelled to London in 1933 where she studied at the Grosvenor School, developing her artistic practice, and commitment to the modernist principles of colour and design. The envelopes depicted in this painting reflect her experience living abroad as an expatriate.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 5 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 4 publications

    • Rachel Power, Alison Rehfisch, Sydney, 2002, 10 (colour illus.), 141. plate no. 4

    • Ann Proudfoot, An expanded view: the Mary Turner Collection at Orange Regional Gallery, 'An expanded view', pg. 5-23, Orange, 2011, 22 (colour illus.), 121.

    • Alan Sisley, Central Western Daily, 'An expanded view something to see', n.pag., Orange, 2011, n.pag.. Article relates to the exhibition 'An expanded vision: Mary Turner collection' held at Orange Regional Gallery in 2011.

    • Jade Williamson, Look, 'Brought to light: still life from the Australian collection', pg. 22-23, Sydney, Sep 2013, 22, 23 (colour illus.).

Other works by Alison Rehfisch