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Constance Roth

Australia, England, South Africa

14 May 1859 - 06 May 1928


Constance Roth was a British-born artist, teacher and designer who came to Sydney in 1885 after arriving in Melbourne in 1884. She was significant in promoting the ideals of the British Aesthetic Movement, which sought to elevate the idea of beauty and to create artistically enhanced domestic environments.

Although Roth exhibited prolifically in Sydney, 'Apples' is one of her few extant works. It reveals the Aesthetic Movement’s crossover between painting and ornamental design that was central to Roth’s work. With its condensed and decorative composition, 'Apples' suggests the influence of Japanese art and manifests the 'arts for art’s sake' creed that underpinned Aesthetic practices.




Media category


Materials used

oil on cedar panel


24.8 x 91.0 cm board

Signature & date

Signed and dated u.l. corner, sideways, red oil " H. C. Roth/ 1890".


Purchased 1890

Accession number


Artist information

Constance Roth

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 16 publications


Jane Clark, Golden summers: Heidelberg and beyond, 'Sydney Harbour', pg. 150-152, Melbourne, 1985, 156 (colour illus.).

Edward Combes, Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art, music and the drama', pg. 5, Sydney, 30 Dec 1876, 5.

Joan Kerr, Heritage: The national women's art book, 'Art Society of New South Wales, Sydney 1890: Annual Exhibition', pg. 9-10, Sydney, 1995, 9 (colour illus.), 10, 441. plate no. 12

Denise Mimmocchi, Australian Symbolism: the art of dreams, ‘The sunny south: the landscape as Aesthetic ideal’, pg.81-90, Sydney, 2012, 83, 84 (colour illus.).

Vivienne Webb, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Golden age', pg. 37-38, Sydney, 2000, 52 (colour illus.), 302.

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1893, Sydney, 1893. 345, Australian Court

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1891, Sydney, 1891, 66. 229, Australian Court, titled 'Apples'

Unknown (Editor), Table talk, Melbourne, 10 Oct 1890, 6.

Unknown (Editor), Table talk, Melbourne, 19 Sep 1890, 7.

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Australasian builder & contractors news: for architects, surveyors, engineers, &c., Sydney, 13 Sep 1890, 198.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Illustrated Sydney News, Sydney, 30 Aug 1890, 5.

Royal Art Society of New South Wales, Art Society of New South Wales Spring Exhibition Catalogue (1890), Sydney, 1890, 44. 189, titled 'Apples', price £12.12.0

Unknown, The Abundant Culture : Meaning and Significance in Everyday Australia, St Leonards, 1994, front and back covers (illus.).

Ann Galbally, Arthur Streeton, Melbourne, 1969, 19 (illus.). 7

Bernard William Smith, A catalogue of Australian oil paintings in the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1875-1952, Sydney, 1953, 181.

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1899, Sydney, 1899. 239, Oil Painting-Australian