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Theo Schoon circa 1941-43
oil on canvas, 814 x 737 mm
Rita Angus had much in common with the Dutch artist Theo Schoon, who came to New Zealand from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) as a refugee during World War II. Both were pacifists, and both saw themselves as outsiders in middle-class New Zealand society. They also shared a keen interest in the art of other cultures.
Here, Angus portrays her friend as a sophisticated young man. A jar of paintbrushes symbolises Schoon’s calling as a painter, and the vase may refer to their mutual interest in Asian art.
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