Eric Wilson

There was a story doing the rounds about this Eric Wilson two sided painting.

Eric was raised a Seventh Day Adventist. So when he painted this luminous Nude he popped a bowl of fruit on the other side so when his mother visited him he could quickly do a switcheroo.

But the real story is less amusing. Historian Mary Eagle says as he was not a wealthy man it was all about saving on the cost of canvas.

| Eric Wilson, Nude, 1939 | Still life 1939, detail |

When Eric’s Nude was placed at the entrance of the office of the CEO of a large company in Melbourne one of the ladies complained about the appropriateness of a nude hanging in the domain of the captain of industry. Another real story.

Here is a detail of a beautifully conceived painting of Eric’s mother, Madeline Wilson (née Hawkes). She was from Wagga Wagga.

| Eric Wilson, Portrait of the artist’s mother, 1936-37, detail, National Gallery of Australia |

Julia Ritson

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