AN IMPROVED IMAGE for Annie’s Oleander has been uploaded, scanned directly from the 2002 Sotheby’s auction catalogue.
Known only from two auction records in 1999 and 2002. A particulary fine work which hints at how many other otherwise unknown works must be ‘out there.’ This is dated 1883, completed several years before her ‘symbolist’ period blossomed, but one can perhaps see beginnings here.
It’s tempting to try to align Annie with a particular movement, such a Realism, Pre-Raphaelitism and even Impressionism, but it never quite works. There are definate influences, but she retains her classically-based training and love of the human figure throughout her career – carefully moulded forms, gradation of tones, no broad monochrome areas.
GRISELDA POLLOCK gave an interesting talk on Front Row (Radio 4 – still available online) this week on how female artists have been consistently written out of art history from the beginning of the 20th century. Griselda is a self-stated feminist, and I don’t agree with some of her arguments and interpretations, but the underlying facts are undeniable. I happened to be watching an online auction at the time of her broadcast, and, sure enough, out of over two-hundred lots, I counted only twelve by women artists.
Annie partially broke the glass ceiling with her acceptance into the Royal Academy in 1923, but was openly critical of the establishment, knowing that her recognition was long overdue. It was another thirteen years before Laura Knight became the second woman admitted. I don’t consider a person’s sex, ethnicity or anything else when liking a picture – Annie, Marie Laurencin, Bridget Riley and Mable Alvarez are personal favourites, all for different reasons, along with Lautrec, Whistler, and various others.
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