Home

Nora Heysen

Nora HEYSEN
(1911 - 2003)
Self portrait 1934
Oil on canvas
Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 1999

NORA HEYSEN AND STELLA BOWEN

There are strong parallels that can be made between Nora Heysen’s 1934 self-portrait and Stella Bowen’s work of c.1929. In each of these self-portraits the artist is subjected to intense scrutiny; the background is pared away, gesture is rendered redundant by the close focus on facial features. There is a maximum of detail, yet the face gives little away. Bowen’s face, even in shadow, is determined. This is a private self-portraiture, undertaken as self-affirmation, with each work remaining with the artist (or family) for many years. However, neither Heysen nor Bowen worked exclusively within the private domain, both being appointed official war artists.

Angas
Ramsay
Lambert
Heysen
Cossington Smith
Williams
Robinson
Smart
Parr
Essay
National Portrait Gallery