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Australian art

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(circa 1912)


E Phillips Fox

Australia, France

12 Mar 1865 - 08 Oct 1915


'Nasturtiums' is the most arresting in a series of women-in-garden paintings which E Phillips Fox created over 1911–12. It features his characteristic use of reflected and dappled light as decorative patterning, and highlights the influence of fashionable Japonisme and Japanese print design. The model for 'Nasturtiums' was the young Australian artist Edith Anderson, who stayed with the artist and his wife Ethel Carrick over 1912.

However, as the title of the painting implies, Fox’s focus is on resolving a highly decorative composition (and less on painting an individual or capturing a moment of observation). He uses the model’s mauve and black accoutrements just as a still-life painter would arrange the objects of his composition, for the greatest formal effect.


Other Titles

Miss Edith Anderson

Mrs Penleigh Boyd

Reading in the garden


(circa 1912)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


91.5 x 71.5 cm stretcher; 108.0 x 88.0 x 10.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner, black oil " E.Phillips Fox". Not dated.


Purchased in memory of Margaret Olley with funds donated by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales Collection Circle 2011

Accession number


Artist information

E Phillips Fox

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 23 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art from Australia: 2016 calender, Sydney, 2015, n.apg. (colour illus.). month of May

Penelope Curtin and Tansy Curtin, Blooms and brushstrokes: a floral history of Australian art, 'Flowers A-Z: Nasturtium', pg. 124-127, Mile End, 132, 133 (colour illus.), 195.

Tim Douglas., The Australian, 'Capon unveils Olley tribute at AGNSW', Canberra, 10 Oct 2011, (col. illus). Image shows Director Edmund Capon in front of the painting on display in Court 9.

Mary Eagle, The oil paintings of E Phillips Fox in the National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 1997, 62 (illus.).

Deborah Edwards and Edmund Capon., Emanuel Phillips Fox 'Nasturtiums': A major acquisition in memory of Margaret Olley, Help purchase 'Nasturtiums', Sydney, Aug 2011, Cover (col. illus), inside text.

Elizabeth Fortescue, Daily telegraph, 'Romance frames our latest acquisition', pg. 53, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 53 (col. illus). P53 of 'extra' section of newspaper.

Fox', Wagga Wagga Daily Advertiser, 'Olley honoured with painting, pg. 10, Wagga Wagga, 11 Oct 2011, 10.

Angela Goddard, Art, love and life: Ethel Carrick and E Phillips Fox, Brisbane, 2011, 97 (col. illus.).

Terry Ingram, The Australian financial review, 'Rodin cast in 2010 to spruce up sale', pg. 11, Sydney, 01 Sep 2011, 11.

John Masters, Look, 'From the president', pg. 13, Sydney, Dec 2011-Jan 2012, 13.

Joyce Morgan, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Honour to Olley as gallery buys in some of her taste', pg. 3, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 3 (col. illus). Image shows Edmund Capon unveiling the painting in Court 9.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, Sydney, Apr 2012, 11 (colour illus.).

Jill Sykes, Look, Society's "Perfect memorial" to Margaret Olley: flowers and an artist whose work she loved, pg. 15, Sydney, Nov 2011, 15 (col. illus).

David Thomas, Deutscher and Hackett Fine art auction: Melbourne Wednesday 31 August 2011, Article on Emanuel Philips Fox (1865-1915), (Lots 12-13) 'Nasturtiums', c1912 & 'On the balcony', c1912, pg. 34-35, Woollahra, Aug 2011, 34-36, 37 (col. illus). lot no. 12

David Thomas, Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction: Melbourne 29 August 2012, 'Works from the Wesfarmers collection of Australian art part 1: lots 1-23’, pg. 86-87, Melbourne, 2012, 86.

Ruth Zubans, E. Phillips Fox : his life and art, South Yarra, Feb 1995, 150 (col. illus), plate no. C67. cat. no. 406

Ruth Zubans, E Phillips Fox 1865-1915, Melbourne, 1994, 66 (illus.). cat. no. 52

Editor Unknown, Illawarra mercury, 'Fox painting a tribute to Olley', pg. 15, New South Wales, 11 Oct 2011, 15.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily liberal, 'Artist honoured with thing she loved most', pg. 13, Dubbo, 11 Oct 2011, 13. Article under heading 'EWS'.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Border mail, 'Olley honoured with Phillips Fox painting', pg. 8, Albury, 11 Oct 2011, 8 (illus.).

A flair for fashion: Society portraits 1888-1944, London, 2018, 36 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Newcastle herald, 'Frame of flowers for Olley', pg. 11, Newcastle, 11 Oct 2009, 18 (illus.). Article sourced from AAP.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australian financial review, 'Gallery unveils Olley tribute', pg. 7, Sydney, 11 Oct 2011, 7 (col. illus).