Frances Hodgkins

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947

Girls Paddling

  • Purchased with assistance from the National Art Collections Fund, London, 1994
  • Watercolour on paper
  • 375 x 372mm
  • 94/05
  • c. 1915

Plein-air painting interested Frances Hodgkins from early in her career. In 1901 she moved to Europe where she travelled extensively on sketching trips. She joined Norman Garstin’s outdoor sketching classes in France in 1901 and 1902, and went on to take plein-air classes herself. Hodgkins enjoyed painting outdoor group studies such as Girls Paddling, and her interest in the effects of light upon her subjects highlights the strong influence of Impressionism.

Hodgkins was born in Dunedin and was initially trained by her father, part-time watercolourist William Matthew Hodgkins. In 1893 she took classes with G. P. Nerli, and in 1895/96 studied at the Dunedin School of Art. Hodgkins left to study at the London Polytechnic in 1901 and in 1903 she exhibited at the Royal Academy, becoming the first New Zealander to have the honour of being hung “on the line”. Living in Paris between 1908 and 1912, Hodgkins taught at the Académie Colarossi, where she was the first woman on staff. She eventually settled in England, where she exhibited with many art groups and galleries, including the Lefevre Galleries in London from 1932.

(Turn, Turn, Turn: A Year in Art, 27 July 2019 – 8 March 2020)

earlier labels about this work
  • Nature's Own Voice, 6 February – 26 July 2009

    Plein-air painting interested Frances Hodgkins from early in her career. In 1901 she moved to Europe where she travelled extensively on sketching trips. She joinedNorman Garstin’s outdoor sketching classes in France in 1901 and 1902, and went on to take plein-air classes herself. Hodgkins favoured painting outdoor group studies such as Girls Paddling and her interest in the effects of light upon her subjects highlights the strong influence of Impressionism.