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Australian art

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Oranges and lemons

(circa 1934)


Alison Rehfisch


23 Jan 1900 - 12 Mar 1975


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.



(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


Artist information

Alison Rehfisch

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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.).