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Australian art

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Grand mère

(circa 1914)


Hilda Rix Nicholas


01 Sep 1884 - 03 Aug 1961


'Grand mère' was painted by Hilda Rix Nicholas in Étaples, Northern France. Executed in the open air, the artwork depicts an elderly peasant woman in a blossoming garden. Rix Nicholas sets the subject of the painting firmly in the frontal plane of a luminously colourful background, an influence of post-impressionist Paris. Short brushstrokes of thickly applied paint animate the pictorial surface and showcase the artist's draughtsmanship.

Rix Nicholas's works were acquired by the French government, exhibited in the Salon and the Société des Peintres Orientalistes Français, and she was elected an Associate of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.


Other Titles



Grand Mère

Grand mere

Place where the work was made

Étaples-sur-Mer France


(circa 1914)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


80.9 x 64.1 cm stretcher; 95.7 x 80.0 x 11.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, blue oil "EHRix [monogram]". Not dated.


Purchased 1919

Accession number


Artist information

Hilda Rix Nicholas

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 12 publications


Anthony Horderns' Fine Art Gallery, Exhibition of drawings and oil paintings by E.H. Rix Nicholas, Sydney, 1919. 25; priced £150 gns; not paginated

Ann Galbally, The Edwardians: secrets and desires, 'Reflected selves', pg. 106-121, Canberra, 2004, 118.

Jean-Claude Lesage, Peintres Australiens à Etaples, 'Hilda Rix Nicholas', pg. 62-70, Étaples-sur-Mer, 2000, 69 (colour illus.).

Joanna Mendelssohn, Bulletin, 'Public grief, private happiness', pg. 102, Sydney, 21 Oct 1990, 102. Note: general reference.

John Pigot, Hilda Rix Nicholas: her life and art, 'Framing a career', pg. 9-26, Melbourne, 2000, xi, 21-22, between pages 34-35 (colour illus.). plate no. 7; titled 'Grandmère'; dated 1914

John Pigot, Hilda Rix Nicholas 1844-1961, 'Introduction', pg. 5-8, Melbourne, 1990, 5, 11. 7; titled 'Grandmere'; dated: c.1914

John Pigot, Brought to Light: Australian Art 1850–1965 from the Queensland Art Gallery collection, 'A national heroine. Hilda Rix Nicholas: the fair musterer', pg. 138-141, Brisbane, 1998, 140.

Bernard William Smith and Terry Smith, Australian painting 1788-1990, 'Leviticus 1913-32', pg. 167-204, South Melbourne, 1991, 192 (illus.). 112

Catherine Speck, Hilda Rix Nicholas: the man for the job, 'The brilliant early years', pg. 65-73, Bendigo, 2010, 66 (colour illus.), 67.

Bertram Stevens., The Art of Hilda Rix Nicholas, 'The Art of Hilda Rix Nicholas', Sydney, 1919. Note: general reference. Features reproduction of 'In Picardy.' from NGV and 'A Mother of France.' Both paintings have similiar subject matter; not paginated.

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'Link across the harbour', pg. 8, Sydney, Jun 2014, 8 (colour illus.).

Elena Taylor, Une Australienne: Hillda Rix Nicholas in Paris, Tangier & Sydney, 'An Australian in Paris', pg. 9-22, Mosman, 2014, 16, 17 (colour illus.), 43, 74.