Frances Hodgkins

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947

River Pool, Somerset

  • Purchased 2012
  • Gouache on paper
  • 585 x 755mm
  • 2012/050
  • c. 1941

This work belongs to a small group of related compositions from the same viewpoint, thought to have been painted by Frances Hodgkins while she stayed at The Croft, a cottage in Somerset owned by the writer Geoffrey Gorer. Completed in Hodgkins’ distinctive style, in which form and colour are blended to create an intense and lyrical impression of place, it rewards sustained viewing with a gradual unfolding of content – trees, reflective water, a model boat. Considered one of New Zealand’s greatest painters, Hodgkins pursued her practice with originality and tenacity, noting: “[I]t is so easy to paint like your master & to think other people’s thoughts, the difficulty is to be yourself, assimilate all that is helpful but keep your own individuality, as your most precious possession – it is one’s only chance.”

(Unseen: The Changing Collection, 18 December 2015 – 19 June 2016)