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Mother and child
Mother and child 1945
oil on canvas, 592 x 407 mm
Rita Angus began this portrait of Christine Bull (later Cole Catley) and her baby in suburban Christchurch, where the pair were living. However, she painted them in an idyllic landscape, with pine trees framing her friend’s chair and flowers clustering at her feet.
Angus noted at the time that she was experimenting in a ‘Japanese’ style. This painting recalls Japanese prints in its flat areas of colour and black outlines. As Cole Catley noted, ‘The effect is Japanese-NZ, but uniquely Rita’s.’
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