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Record Image
Hodgkins, Frances Mary (New Zealand, b.1869, d.1947), Artist
Ibiza Harbour
Circa 1933
oil on canvas
595 x 725 mm stretcher size
26-1970
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Given 1970 by the O'Sullivan Family, in memory of Irene Stanislaus O'Sullivan.
A winter escape to Ibiza, in Spain, was possible in January 1933 after Frances sold a painting of Cornwall to the mother of her friend Geoffrey Gorer. Frances was determined to make this a productive excursion, since she was preparing for her first solo exhibition at Lefevre Galleries in March 1933. ‘The SHOW is the THING – I must set London talking.'(1) She did a lot of work in January: ‘I am still reacting pleasantly to Ibiza in the painting way and find heaps to do – all very lovely I can hardly believe it. Weather much colder – but fine today – houses very cold & we seek bed – or the café in the evenings – to keep warm.'(2)
But the strain of painting to a deadline soon began to tell. She postponed the show until October and stayed on at Ibiza for six months, producing watercolours, gouaches and sketches for oil paintings to be made back in London. This masterly work shows Ibiza Harbour at sunset. The view is from the upper part of the town (Dalt Vila), across the water to the distant blue hills and a sky filled with scudding pink clouds. Her bold use of colour and her confident and daring brushwork take a traditional subject to a new, almost surreal level.

1. Letter to Karl Hagedorn, 3 January 1933, Gill, p 455
2. Letter to Dorothy Selby, 10 January 1933, Gill, p 455

on view in the exhibition

Hurahia ana kā Whetū : Unveiling the Stars
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