Joie de Vivre

Constance Stokes

Joie de Vivre by Constance Stokes


Constance Stokes
Joie de Vivre
oil on composition board
96 x 41 cm

signed lower left: Constance Stokes

Note: Title advised by Lucilla Wyborn d’Abrera, the artist’s daughter

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Fine Australian and European Paintings, Sotheby’s, Melbourne, 24 November 1997, lot 224K as Portrait of a Woman
private collection, Queensland

Further Information

Constance Stokes, initially trained at the National Gallery School in Melbourne, was awarded their prestigious Travelling Scholarship which took her to London from 1930-1933.¹ She studied at the Royal Academy School under William Mornington whom she acknowledged for ‘furthering my understanding of drawing’, and for showing her how line can express form.² Then in the summer of 1931, she took herself to Paris to study with Andre Lhôte who had a profound influence on her. As she recalled, ‘the Lhôte School was a revelation to me and, as I did not have much French, and Lhôte had no English, I had to do the best I could by watching him work with his brush - drawing all the colour together, and for the first time I became aware of colour used as tone, and not used as local colour’.³

¹. On the artist see Lucilla Wyborn d’Abrera, Constance Stokes: Art and Life, Hill House Publishers, 2015; Anne Summers, The Lost Mother: A Story of Love and Art, Melbourne University Press, 2009.

². Constance Stokes Retrospective Exhibition, Swan Hill Regional Gallery, 1985, np; Barbara Blackman interview cited in Felicity St John Moore, Classical Modernism: The George Bell Circle, National Gallery of Victoria, 1992, p. 126.

³. Constance Stokes Retrospective Exhibition, Swan Hill Regional Gallery, 1985, np.