- Presented to the Canterbury Society of Arts by J. J. Thomson, 1929; given to the Gallery, 1932
- Oil on canvas
- 950 x 690mm
Mary Elizabeth Richardson Tripe established a successful career as a leading portrait painter in New Zealand and received many commissions, particularly among Wellington’s upper-middle class. Her academic training under the English portrait painter Frederick Whiting (1874 -1962) is evident in the formal treatment of the sitter. However, this is off-set by loose, colourful brushwork in the background. Tripe put strong emphasis on costume and accessories, such as the highly coloured peacock feathers, giving a sense of liveliness and vibrancy to what would otherwise be an Academic portrait study. Born Mary Elizabeth Richardson in Christchurch, Tripe moved to Wellington with her family in 1886. She attended the Wellington School of Design. Tripe was an original member of the Wellington Art Club. She married J.A. Tripe in 1900 and together they made many visits to Europe, making London their base. Tripe exhibited with Art Societies throughout New Zealand as well as with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Royal Academy and the Paris Salon.