Saturday, June 12, 2010

Emily Coonan, Girl in a Dotted Dress, 1923.

Emily Coonan: 'Girl in Dotted Dress', c1923

I couldn't help but think of this work by Emily Coonan, when I was writing my blog entry on The Two Sisters of Quebec.

Anne Newlands in her book, Canadian Paintings Prints and Drawings uses this painting on the cover, and she gives credit to the Art Gallery of Hamilton as its owner. She reports that it was given to the gallery by the Hamilton Spectator, newspaper.

Emily was a member of the Montreal Beaver Hall group. As was Prudence Heward, who painted the 'Two Sisters of Quebec' featured in an earlier blog entry.

..."in the treatment of women, these paintings are not ingratiating society portraits but specific descriptions of character and social circumstance. The subjects are often guarded, bored or defiant. They can be disconcertingly direct (Torrance Newton’s Martha) or so inward-looking they’re scarcely aware of the viewer (Emily Coonan’s Girl in Dotted Dress). Several of the Beaver Hall women also offered rigorously unsentimental paintings of children. The youngsters in Heward’s Sisters of Rural Quebec exhibit spooky, Dakota Fanning-like self-possession."

To see the full CBC article please click here.

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