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
Margaret PRESTON | The studio window

PRESTON, Margaret
Australia 1875 – Australia 1963-05-27
Germany and France 1904-06, France, England and Ireland 1912-19, Australia from 1919
The studio window 1906
oil on canvas
81.5 (h) x 60.0 (w) cm
Signed with intitals and dated l.r.: 'M.RM / 06/'
Purchased 2002
NGA 2002.433
© Margaret Preston, 1906. Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney
VIEW: Article |

The studio window is set in the sitting room of the Paris apartment that Preston shared with fellow Australian artist Bessie Davidson in 1906. It is a scene of stillness and quiet reflection. The young woman’s reading material is possibly a popular literary or artistic journal and suggests that she is engrossed in the new ideas of her time. In this regard, Preston’s image is specific, whereas other artists’ images of women reading allow the viewer to imagine the book as either a piece of traditional fiction, contemporary literature or history.

Preston’s woman is dressed in a conventional pretty pink dress of her time, whereas the figures in Rothenstein’s The Browning readers or Gwen John’s A lady readingwear more modern ‘artistic’ dress.

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