Isabel Jane Hodgkins

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1867, d.1950

An Outstanding Mountain, Lake Manapouri, Western Otago

  • Presented by Millicent and Winifred Jennings, 1974
  • Watercolour
  • 250 x 426mm
  • 74/72
  • View on google maps

Isabel Hodgkins was the older sister of the better-known painter Frances Hodgkins; both artists showed considerable talent in their early years, no doubt spurred on by their father, William Hodgkins, who was a painter in his own right. Isabel showed promise early on and exhibited with art societies throughout New ealand in the 1880s and 1890s. She exhibited many still-life flower paintings but also excelled as a landscape painter. Her interest in the sublime and romantic elements in landscapes can be seen in the way she conveys the stormy atmospheric conditions in this watercolour. Unlike Frances, who wholly dedicated herself to painting in England, Isabel’s painting career came to an end when she married the Wellington politician William Field and began raising a family. Domestic duties and responsibilities, including caring for her elderly mother, took precedent over her art. (March 2018)

earlier labels about this work
  • Lake Manapouri is located in the Fiordland region of the South Island. Landscapes depicting the grandeur of New Zealand’s Southern Alps were a popular subject during the colonial period. In this painting Isabel Hodgkins has used very wet washes to convey the atmospheric effects of storm clouds forming over the mountain peaks. Painted in the traditional watercolour style of the period, it shows the influence of her father, who taught her. Born in Dunedin, Isabel was the eldest daughter of painter William Matthew Hodgkins and sister of artist Frances Hodgkins. Isabel showed more promise than her sister early in her career; however, unlike Frances, she failed to develop her style. Isabel began exhibiting with the Otago Art Society in 1884 and also exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Melbourne in 1888/89. She married Wellington barrister W. H. Field in 1893 and moved to Wellington. After this date she painted infrequently and had stopped exhibiting altogether by 1908. (Label date unklnown)

  • Lake Manapouri is in Southern Central Otago in the Wanaka, Queenstown region. Landscapes depicting the grandeur of New Zealand’s Southern Alps were a popular subject during the colonial period. In this painting Isabel Hodgkins has used wet washes to convey the atmospheric effects of storm clouds forming over the mountain peaks. Painted in the traditional watercolour style of the period, it shows the influence of her father, who taught her. Born in Dunedin, Isabel was the eldest daughter of the painter William Matthew Hodgkins and sister of the artist Frances Hodgkins. Isabel showed more promise than her sister early in her career, however, unlike Frances, she failed to develop her style. Isabel began exhibiting with the Otago Art Society in 1884 and also exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Melbourne in 1888-1889. She married the Wellington barrister W.H. Field in 1893 and moved to Wellington. After this date she painted infrequently and had stopped exhibiting altogether by 1908. (Label from Gallery opening hang, 2003)