Raymond McIntyre

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1879, d.1933


  • 1905
  • Oil on canvas
  • Purchased with assistance from the Olive Stirrat Bequest, 1984
  • 745 x 590mm
  • 84/26

Raymond McIntyre first exhibited Meditation at the Canterbury Society of Arts in 1906; it was then included in the newly formed Guild of Arts and Crafts’ group display in the Christchurch International Exhibition at the end of that year. McIntyre, who exhibited regularly in Christchurch and Wellington between 1898 and 1908, was drawn early on to painting stylised, atmospheric landscapes and portraits.

Seeking a larger field in which to make his mark, he left New Zealand in 1909 for further studies in England, but with unanticipated results, as he told his father: “In London one can see every conceivable style of work. I am continually being surprised at the mediocrity of most work ... with me it is an unfoldment, and when I do the work I want to do, there will be a place for it… As for the idea of going and studying under some well known man, my opinion regarding that also has decidedly changed since I left N.Z. One’s only chance is to be oneself.”

(The Moon and the Manor House, 12 November 2021 – 1 May 2022)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • The sitter for this painting wears no jewellery or other adornments and she shows little emotion. In giving no clear clues to her personality, Raymond McIntyre shows her as a symbolic figure, simply suggesting the mood of meditation. An early work by McIntyre, Meditation was painted before he had travelled to London and seen the contemporary styles of Post-Impressionism. The dark, subdued tones were commonly used by his generation of students at the Canterbury College School of Art.

    Born in Christchurch, McIntyre was awarded a bronze medal for a life study when he was a student at the School of Art. He also studied as a private pupil under Petrus van der Velden (1837- 1913). McIntyre arrived in London in 1909 and studied at the London City Council Central School of Arts and Crafts. In 1911 he began a long association exhibiting with the Goupil Gallery, then the leading international contemporary art gallery in London. McIntyre died suddenly, aged 54. (Label date unknown)