“Miss Scales was painting a still life of flowers and fruit [Still Life, Brentwood Avenue, Auckland [BC090]] which were arranged on a sideboard in the sparsely furnished sitting room, amongst propped-up postcards, small finished and unfinished paintings, and a treasured small square-shaped book written in French on Cézanne. (Years later she told me that the landscape reproduced on the cover of this book was painted by Cézanne from the garden or house of Paul Signac in St Tropez, that she caught glimpses of through the big gates during her frequent painting visits to that town during the nineteen-thirties. Dr Eric McCormick added an extra footnote to this by telling me that the villa next to Signac’s was occupied in 1931 by friends of Frances Hodgkins, George and Maude Burge, and that Frances Hodgkins painted in their garden that year.)”
Still Life, Brentwood Avenue, Auckland
Rounded shapes in brown, blue, green and red. Lower margin some vigorous scraping into brown paint. Mid to upper background divided into three. Diagonal of white brushwork left margin to large brown shape left of centre.
Verso pencil on strip of green repair canvas (not in artist's hand) Brentwood Avenue
Donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand by H. F. V. Scales, 1979
Vertical cut right of centre. Repaired with green repair canvas by James Ross, c1979.
Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
Title and date supplied by artist at time of donation, 1979.
Scales cut this canvas vertically right of centre, possibly with a penknife. Repaired with an attachment of green canvas backing by James Ross, prior to the donation in 1979. Toss Woollaston, on a visit to the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, 1992, observed that the cut would have been “an accident of a private nature.”
Alexander Turnbull Library documentation notes, “The artist would set up still life studies on a sideboard against a wallpaper background, shows tea-cosy on the left with pears and a posy of flowers in vase.”