Ngaio Marsh


[Portrait] by Ngaio Marsh

Artwork Detail

Along with Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh is regarded as one of the ‘Queens of Crime’ whose writing gripped readers during crime fiction’s golden period of the 30s. A creative polymath, she was also a visual artist, actress and theatre director, and a leader in Christchurch’s cultural renaissance of the 1930s and 40s.

[Portrait] is a staggeringly direct portrayal of a glamourous young woman, someone who was likely a part of Marsh’s social set. Reclining on a large cushion, she is barefoot and dressed in a long Chinese jacket. The nude feet, direct gaze and informal pose suggest a degree of intimacy between the sitter and artist. The painting is both dramatic and mysterious, two qualities that Marsh herself embodied

Ngaio Marsh
Production date
circa 1925
oil on canvas
420 x 527 mm
Credit line
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, The Ilene and Laurence Dakin Bequest, purchased 2021
Accession no
No known copyright restrictions
New Zealand Art
Display status
Not on display

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