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Florence Turner Blake (nee Greaves) was one of Julian Ashton’s first students at his Sydney Art School. A skilled painter, she regularly exhibited with the New South Wales Society of Painters from 1896 into the 20th century. Through her connection with Ashton, she met Tom Roberts, who at the time was one of Australia’s premier Impressionists and one of the founding members of the famous Heidelberg School of painters. Blake, who at the time was known by her maiden name, Miss Florence Greaves, became close friends of Roberts, and immediately became a muse for two of Roberts’ most recognizable portraits. “Portrait of Florence” (c1898) is a gorgeous representation inspired by the Italian Renaissance, using delicate, restrained palette contrasting the stoic, passive demeanor of the sitter. She completed this portrait following her training in Europe at the Slade School in the mid 1920s, where she met and became close friends with important French Impressionist, Camille Pissaro. When she passed away in 1959, she bequest her entire estate and legacy to the Art Gallery of NSW, the largest donation the institution had ever received, allowing them to purchase numerous important works for their permanent collection. The Art Gallery Of NSW collection includes ten of Blake’s works, including “Frivolers” (1916) & “Garden Of Dreams” (1920).

"Self Portrait" (c.1930)

oil on canvas

41 x 36cm

signed lower right



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