Sydney Lough Thompson

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1877, d.1973

Morning Coffee

  • Purchased, 1967
  • Oil on board
  • 750 x 780mm
  • 69/188
  • 1942?

This table, here invitingly set for coffee, was in the porch of Sydney Lough Thompson’s house in Repton Street, Christchurch, where he lived during World War II. His usually expressive brushwork is somewhat subdued in this work where his main interest has been in the effects of light on the scene. The mirror device intensifies and gives greater effect to the interior light in the room by reflecting not only the sunlight on the table, but also the light falling on the floor, which would not be visible if it were not for the mirror. Born in Oxford, Canterbury, Thompson began studying at Canterbury College School of Art in 1895, as well as taking lessons from Petrus van der Velden (1837-1913). In 1900 he travelled to London and Europe and studied at Académie Julian, Paris. He returned to New Zealand in 1905, teaching at the School of Art from 1906 to 1911. Thompson then returned to Europe. Throughout his career he travelled regularly between New Zealand and Europe.