- Media category
- Materials used
- oil on wood
34.6 x 26.7 cm board; 45.1 x 37.2 x 3.8 cm frame
0 - Whole, 33.5 x 25.5 cm, SIGHT DIMENSION. Due to backing board support, the hardboard dimensions could not be obtained. Sight dimensions were recorded.
- Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, red (ink?) "J.R.ASHTON/ Xmas 93".
- Purchased 1942
- Not on display
- Accession number
- Artist information
Works in the collection
The subject of Julian Ashton's portrait is Alice Muskett, who was a prominent artist in Sydney during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ashton painted Muskett in 1893, while she was a student at his art school – the only art school in Sydney that offered life-classes for women at the time.
In his 1941 memoir Now came still evening on, Ashton fondly recounted Muskett's 'refined and sensitive nature'. These traits are apparent in this charming portrait, which shows her elegantly dressed in a high-neck blouse and pince-nez
glasses. An inscription by Ashton on the back of this work confirms that it was 'done in class', possibly as a demonstration for Muskett and her fellow pupils.
There are two portraits of Muskett by Ashton in the Gallery's collection. The second work, which is titled 'The coral necklet', was painted several years later in 1901. Regrettably, the Gallery removed its only two works by Muskett from the collection in 1920 and 1946.
Shown in 4 exhibitions
Artists by artists (1954), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Nov 1954–05 Dec 1954
Aspects of Australian art: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1976, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1976–1977
Bohemians in the bush: the artists' camps of Mosman, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Jun 1991–25 Aug 1991
Impressions: painting light and life, National Portrait Gallery [Parliamentary Zone], Canberra, 25 Nov 2011–04 Mar 2012
Referenced in 5 publications
Anne Douglas, Painting The Rocks: the loss of old Sydney, 'Stories of Old Sydney: Alice Muskett', pg. 121, Sydney, 2010, 120 (colour illus., detail).
Sarah Engledow, Impressions: painting light & life, Catalogue essay, pg. 7-16, Canberra, 2011, 11, 82 (caption), 83 (colour illus.). cat.no. 33
Robert Lindsay., Aspects of Australian Art: Art Gallery of New South Wales travelling art exhibition 1976, 'Julian Ashton', Sydney, 1976, (illus.). cat.no. 3, not paginated
Albie Thoms, Bohemians in the bush: the artists' camps of Mosman, Sydney, 1991, 76. cat.no. 5
Ros Pesman, Duty Free - Australian Women Abroad, Sydney, 1996.
Other works by Julian Ashton
See all 30 works