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Dona Nobis Pacem
Dona Nobis Pacem (Ralph Vaughan Williams) 1944
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oil on canvas, 786 x 680 mm
Fletcher Trust Collection
Rita Angus admired the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, who taught her close friend Douglas Lilburn in London in the late 1930s. Vaughan Williams was a well-known pacifist and composed the cantata Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us peace) in 1936.
Angus includes scenes from her own life in her portrait of Vaughan Williams. The apple branch symbolises the pacifist community at Riverside, where she may have had the idea for the painting. She sketched the deserted homestead at nearby Pangatotara. The blonde child on the beach might be Angus herself as a girl.
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