DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, The fountain, Villa Torlonia, Frascati, Italy 1907, The Art Institute of Chicago, American Art Collection DETAIL : John Singer SARGENT, Almina, daughter of Asher Wertheimer 1908, Tate, London, presented by the widow and family of Asher Wertheimer in accordance with his wishes in 1922
Gladys REYNELL | Old Irish couple

Australia 1881 – Australia 1956
France, England and Ireland 1912-19
Old Irish couple c.1915
oil on canvas
65.3 (h) x 54.0 (w) cm
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

In Old Irish couple Reynell expressed the quiet dignity of the couple she encountered on her travels in Ireland and suggested their resilience against all odds. In 1915 Reynell’s friend Rose McPherson (Margaret Preston) wrote about the poverty in Ireland: ‘It is almost inconceivable … A family of nine in the ordinary course of events, and the father never hopes to earn more than seven shillings a week, how they feed them I don’t know’.  (quoted in Butler, 1987).

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