Lesbia Thorpe was a master of her craft. A precocious printmaker, she began studying under Anthonio Dattilo Rubbo in her teens before spending two years in London with sculptor and wood-engraver Gertrude Hermes. On her return, she became an esteemed fixture in Melbourne’s 1950s and 60s printmaking scene, widely exhibiting and teaching.
In ‘The Striped Dress’ Thorpe invites us into another realm. Patterns overlay one another: flowers, almost subterranean in appearance, bloom in the foreground, while in the background a woman peers through a willow tree, its foliage shimmering like a beaded curtain. Perhaps Thorpe’s legacy lies with her aptitude for composition. Playing thoughtfully with shape, pattern and space, the worlds she creates are intoxicating; held at arm’s length, suggestive of narrative but never prescriptive.
Thorpe is an esteemed Australian artist. She was a lecturer for the National Gallery of Victoria, Bill Constable’s set designer and the recipient of many accolades. She is currently represented in numerous public collections, including at the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.
Since Thorpe is best known as a printmaker, her original drawings are a rare treat. In this ink on paper she carries across the qualities that made her such an impressive printmaker: an astute eye for composition, tonality and pattern. For collectors of Modern art and works on paper, follow the mysterious ‘The Striped Dress’ before she disappears.
Lesbia THORPE (1919 - 2009)
'The Striped Dress'
ink on paper
Image Size: 56 x 36 cm
Dimensions: 79 x 60 cm
Signed: Signed 'Lesbia Thorpe' lower centre
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Availability: in stock
Condition: Very Good: Work of art is in very good condition however it does appear to be laid down on board. Future custodians may wish to investigate conservation of this work.
© The Artist or Assignee