Emily Meston was probably a more significant portrait painter than a painter of still lifes, but the Art Gallery of New South Wales rarely acquired large oil portraits by women, preferring small still-life studies which conformed to the ‘decorative’ stereotype then attached to ‘women’s art’.
In the inaugural Society of Artists exhibition in 1895, however, when Meston’s 'Portrait of Rev G McInnes' was shown alongside her 'Study of grapes', it was called ‘the strongest portrait, so far as The Bulletin knows, yet painted in Australia by a woman’. The Trustees of the Gallery had purchased 'Study of grapes' nine days earlier.
Shown in 1 exhibition
Society of Artists First Exhibition (1895), York Street Skating Rink, Sydney, 28 Sep 1895–20 Oct 1895
Referenced in 1 publication
Unknown (Editor), Heritage: The national women's art book, Sydney, 1995, 10, 11 (colour illus.). cat.no. 14. Entry by Joan Kerr. Biography by Joan Kerr pg.406.