Raymond McIntyre

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1879, d.1933

Suzette

  • Presented by Mrs M. Good, London, 1975
  • Oil on wood panel
  • 432 x 337mm
  • 75/57
  • c. 1914

Arriving in London in 1909, the Christchurch-born and trained Raymond McIntyre soon gained a reputation there for his small, pared-back landscapes and studies of female heads, painted in an elegant, simplified, Japanese woodblock inspired style. These three paintings were modelled on an actor and dancer who became his principal muse from 1912, sometimes mentioned in his letters home: “The girl who is sitting for me a lot now, Sylvia Constance Cavendish… has a very refined interesting pale face… I have done some very good work from her… she is quite a find.”

McIntyre died in London in 1933. Seven of his works were given by his family between 1938 and 1991.

(Treasury: A Generous Legacy, 18 December 2015 – 27 November 2016)

earlier labels about this work
  • Between 1912 and 1914 Raymond McIntyre painted a series of women’s heads. Often based on his favourite model, actress Phyllis Cavendish, these elegant and charming women represent a female ideal, rather than specific personalities. Suzette’s hair is typical of the way Breton women coiled their hair. McIntyre has combined solid masses of colour with only a little outline and has adapted the model’s features into an expressive and unified combination of formal elements. This style shows the influence of Japanese wood block prints, the work of the French artist Henri Toulouse Lautrec (1864 – 1901) and art nouveau poster design of the late 19th century. McIntyre was born in Christchurch to artistic and musical parents. He attended the Canterbury College School of Art in the late 1890s and went to London in 1909 to further his studies. By 1915 he was well established as an artist in London circles. Reproductions of his women’s ‘heads’ appeared in the art periodicals The Studio and Colour. McIntyre died in London. (Label date unknown)