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Title

(Flowers with peacock feathers)

circa 1944


Artist

Margaret Coen

Australia

04 Apr 1909 - 27 Aug 1993


About

The Sydney-based Margaret Coen is known for her long artistic career as a watercolour painter. From the 1930s, as she established her reputation as an exhibiting painter and was also working as a commercial artist. She was part of a hub of artists, both traditional and modern, who worked from the network of studios in inner-city Sydney. Coen was a regular exhibitor with the Royal Art Society, from which she become recognised for her trademark watercolour landscapes and still life subjects, and in particular for her luminously-coloured evocations of flower arrangements.

In 1940 Coen took over Norman Lindsay’s studio in Bridge Street, Sydney. She had not worked much in oils to this point, but inheriting a studio space set up for oil painting appears to have inspired her shift in mediums, and with it consider new approaches to her still life painting.

('Flower with peacock feathers') is an outstanding example of Coen’s work in oils. The work is robustly lavish and its baroque composition, with its interplay of the foreground forms of flowers, peacock feathers and the abstracted patterns of the fabric backdrop, is confidently resolved. Coen’s palette is expansive, and executed with a brush that is fully loaded to sumptuously layer the rich colour. Coen’s still life has reference to both the genre’s traditions of Dutch painting and the modern school of Sydney art during the inter-war decades.


Details


Date

circa 1944


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas on board


Dimensions

70.3 x 56.2 cm sight; 71.0 x 56.9 cm board; 89.0 x 74.9 x 5.0 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red oil "MARGARET COEN". Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Meg Stewart 2019


Location

Not on display


Accession number

83.2019


Artist information

Margaret Coen

Works in the collection

3


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 5 publications

Bibliography


Margaret Coen: a passion for painting, (colour illus.), Sydney, 1997, 71.

From the studio: Margaret Coen, 'List of works', pg. 40-45, Sydney, 2017, 41.

Margaret Coen: a passion for painting, 'List of works', pg. 143-148, Sydney, 1997, 145.

The art of Margaret Coen /​ S.H. Ervin Gallery, 'Catalogue', pg. 3-4, Sydney, 1991, 3.

Exhibition of paintings by Margaret Coen, 'Oil Paintings/ Flowerpieces', pg. 3, Brisbane, 1946, 3. possibly cat. no. 30, listed as ‘Mixed Bunch’