Frances Hodgkins

Spanish Shrine

Spanish Shrine by Frances Hodgkins

Artwork Detail

Travel was always essential to Frances Hodgkins' health and to her work, although its discomforts and financial constraints pressed on her as she grew older. On 3 January 1933 she wrote to a friend from the Hotel Belear in Ibiza, Spain: '. . . I would rather be here in the sunshine than alone in the Studio - it was getting me badly. The SHOW is the THING - I must set London talking - they expect it of me . . . but down here I forget all about it & think only of the jolly things I see around me & the awful urge to get at them'. Hodgkins painted Spanish Shrine in England, after her return from Spain, working from watercolour sketches. It was a very successful work, exhibited several times during the 1930s and '40s. Sunday Times critic Eric Newton praised the balance she achieved: '. . . between the world of her eye and the world of her mind's eye . . . the picture is both a symbol and a description and the two are interwoven'. A calmly-beautiful work, Spanish Shrine shows two peasant women, carrying containers of water and fruit, either side of a religious statue, possibly Mary or a local saint. The three figures share a monumental, iconic stillness; the statue is in an attitude of prayer, and the women, temporarily halted in their daily tasks, have eyes alight with the certainty of their faith. (from The Guide, 2001)

Spanish Shrine
Frances Hodgkins
Production date
oil on canvas
965 x 1236 x 80 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1954
Accession no
Other ID
1954/67 Old Accession Number, FH1036 Frances Hodgkins Catalogue Raisonné Number, FH1933_022 Old Frances Hodgkins Number, 33.22 RW Number, 79:13:20A RW Negative Number
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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