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Portrait of R. Gormack, Esq
Portrait of R. Gormack, Esq. 1948-49
oil on canvas, 684 x 540 mm
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, on loan from the Rita Angus Estate
In 1948, Rita Angus introduced herself to Robert Gormack – a young Christchurch publisher and fellow pacifist – and asked if she could paint his portrait.
Both Angus and Gormack were pleased with the finished work, which is one of Angus’s most dramatic portraits. Light falls on Gormack’s face, focusing attention on his eyes and forehead. He holds a book to suggest his interest in literature – a copy of Finnegans Wake, the modern masterpiece by Irish writer James Joyce.
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