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5 January 2021

Reading about Nora Heysen is very humbling: why on earth hadn't she been firmly on our radar before? Because, presumably, we are insular, narrow-minded and far too Euro-centric. Her work is amazing and, apart from her work, she is fascinating because of her relationship with her painter father (which was complicated) and because of her relationship to feminism (which was straightforward). For anyone as ignorant as we are/were, read this good piece about her by Joanna Mendelssohn here. Nora Heysen spent a few months in London, this is London Breakfast 1935. It's so much our kind of painting: the domestic detail, the atmosphere, the overtones of Piero della Francesca (the blue) and Vermeer (the interior), oh it's fascinating. There are more details about this wonderful painting here (it's in the National Gallery of Australia), for example that it was painted in Duke Street in Kensington and shows Nora Heysen's friend Evie Stokes.

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