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Self portrait, 1911

Evelyn Chapman

oil on canvas (frame: 105.5 cm x 83.0 cm, support: 91.5 cm x 69.0 cm)

Evelyn Chapman, artist, studied with Antonio Dattilo Rubbo in Sydney and travelled overseas to paint in Paris, where she exhibited at the Salon. A few weeks after the end of World War 1 she took up the opportunity to visit the battlefields of France with her father, who was attached to the New Zealand War Graves Commission. Thus, she became the first Australian female artist to depict the devastated battlefields, towns and churches of the western front. Chapman remained overseas with her father, an organist who played in Dieppe, Venice and elsewhere, and married a brilliant organist, George Thalben-Ball, herself. After she married, she gave up painting, but she encouraged her daughter, Pamela, to pursue art. For the rest of her life, Chapman lived in England, only returning to Australia for a visit in 1960. The Art Gallery of New South Wales has her 1911 portrait of Dattilo Rubbo and a number of her paintings of France, Belgium and England. The Australian War Memorial, too, has several of her evocative French scenes.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Pamela Thalben-Ball 2007

Accession number: 2007.51

Currently on display: Gallery Four (Liangis Gallery)

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Artist and subject

Evelyn Chapman (age 23 in 1911)

Subject professions

Visual arts and crafts

Donated by

Pamela Thalben-Ball (2 portraits)

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