Ambrose McEvoy

The Ear-Ring

exhibited 1911

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Not on display

Ambrose McEvoy 1877–1927
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 762 × 635 mm
Frame: 987 × 865 × 112 mm
Presented by C.L. Rutherston 1917

Display caption

McEvoy presents a moment of quiet and intense self-scrutiny. Lost in contemplation of her image, the model’s assessment of her ear ring also suggests a narcissistic appraisal of her own beauty. McEvoy heightens the mood of intimacy by contrasting deep shadows behind the figure with a stronger light falling on the mirror’s reflection, thus heightening attention on the woman’s face. A pupil of artist James Abott McNeill Whistler, McEvoy also painted scenes which replaced narrative with atmosphere and suggestion.

Gallery label, May 2007

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Catalogue entry

N03176 THE EAR-RING c. 1911

Inscr. ‘McEvoy’ b.r.
Canvas, 30×25 (76×63·5).
Presented by C. L. Rutherston 1917.
Exh: N.E.A.C., winter 1911 (22), as ‘The ear-ring picture’; R.A., Late Members, winter 1928 (542).
Lit: Johnson, 1919, I, p.3, repr. pl.19; ‘Wigs’, 1923, p.63, repr. p.17.
Repr: Gleadowe, 1924, pl.8; Sir Joseph Duveen, Thirty Years of British Art, 1930, p.29.

Two studies for this picture were exhibited at the R.A., winter 1928 (423, watercolour, lent by Geoffrey Blackwell, and 448, chalk, lent by Mrs Claude Johnson); the first is repr. Johnson, 1919, II, pl.108. See also N03175.

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, II


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