Hilda Rix Nicholas

Sometimes I don’t know which is more interesting – the artist or their work.

I’m fascinated by Ballarat born girl Hilda Rix Nicholas.

This painting is like a promotional piece for Australia. Hilda was living in Paris at the time and painted this portrait of her good friend Dorothy Richmond.

It’s so bold and confident. An Australian woman full of vigour or innocents abroad?

The chequered orange scarf cascades down her body and exhibits Rix’s understanding of colour harmonies.

You can see she picked up a few techniques from Mr McCubbin at the Gallery School.

| Hilda Rix Nicholas, Une Australienne, 1926 |

National Gallery of Australia have in their collection a wonderfully over the topĀ painting from this time in Paris.

When Hilda returned to Australia she was determined to express the wholesomeness of pastoral Australia and the role of women in this landscape.

Despite there slightly romantic and nationalistic connotations, I really like this series of paintings placing women firmly into the working life of rural Australia.

| Hilda Rix Nicholas, Autumn Evening’s Golden Glow, c 1942 |

Julia Ritson

3 comments

  1. Hi Julia,
    It was fun seeing your comments here. I am actually the grand-daughter of Hilda Rix Nicholas. Did you know that there is a big exhibition of her work coming up in June at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra this year? It is called Paris to Monaro.

  2. That’s wonderful Bronwyn. I had heard of the upcoming exhibition. Hope I can get to Canberra! I also just got out of the local library the new sketchbook publication. Looking forward to reading, and I might do a post about it. Some stunning drawings.

  3. Marianne Payten

    Hi Bronwyn,
    Would there be any family information available about the subject of Une Australienne who I believe is Dorothy Richmond who married Edgar Wright’s cousin Walter? I am really interested in these two women as I love this painting and my mother travelled on the same ship when they went to Paris in 1924. Did Dorothy have a family, keep painting and live a long life?

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