Still Life with Onions

Nora Heysen AM

Still Life with Onions by Nora Heysen AM


Nora Heysen AM
Still Life with Onions
oil on canvas
45.5 x 61 cm

signed & dated lower right: NORA HEYSEN 1927

© Lou Klepac

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Private Collection

Further Information

Daughter of Hans Heysen, Nora studied School of Fine Arts (North Adelaide) before continuing her training in London (Central School of Art and the Byam Shaw School of Art). The importance of drawing and her evident skill is clearly apparent and a strong modelling and graceful line is displayed in her life drawing from the model, a discipline she maintained throughout her life. Such figures are drawn with authority and fidelity and have a sense of classicism and an ability to capture an individuality. Her painting subjects are predominately portraits and still lifes and she worked across a variety of media including oil, watercolour, pastel, charcoal, ink, pencil.

Nora Heysen was the first female recipient of the Archibald Prize in 1938 and was appointed the official War Artist in Australia and New Guinea in the second world war, the first Australian female to be selected. She exhibited throughout her career, with her first solo exhibition in 1933 and is represented in the major state institutions in Australia, including the National Gallery of Australia and the Australian War Memorial. She is the subject of the publications Nora Heysen (Lou Klepac, 1989) and Nora Heysen: Light and Life(Jane Hylton, 2009). The National Gallery of Victoria curated the exhibition Hans and Nora Heysen: Two Generations of Australian Art in 2019.

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