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.
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".
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Spring Exhibition of the Art Society of New South Wales (1890), Society Rooms, Union Chambers, Sydney, Oct 1890 -
Travelling Art Exhibition 1953. Still life and flower paintings by Australian artists:
- Church of England Parish Hall, Grenfell 16 Mar 1953–30 Mar 1953
- Young Public Library, Young 14 Apr 1953–28 Apr 1953
- Bega County Council Exhibition Hall, Bega 19 May 1953–02 Jun 1953
- Wollongong High School Assembly Hall, Fairy Meadow 03 Aug 1953–15 Aug 1953
- Taree Council Chambers, Taree 15 Sep 1953–29 Sep 1953
- Dubbo Mechanics' Institute, Dubbo 13 Oct 1953–27 Oct 1953
Centenary celebration: First Australian Exhibition of Women's Work 1907, Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Castlemaine, 21 Oct 2007–09 Dec 2007
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. cat.no. 345, Australian Court
National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1891, Sydney, 1891, 66. cat.no. 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. cat.no. 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.). illus.no. 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. cat.no. 239, Oil Painting-Australian