NARCISSI, c.1916-19

Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 August 2012


(1875 - 1963)
NARCISSI, c.1916-19

hand-coloured woodcut

47.0 x 37.0 cm

signed with initials in image upper left: MRM
signed with artist's maiden name below image: Margaret R Macpherson

$10,000 - 15,000
Sold for $21,600 (inc. BP) in Auction 26 - 29 August 2012, Melbourne

Private collection, United Kingdom
Acquired in Melbourne c1975


Butler, R., The Prints of Margaret Preston: A Catalogue raissoné, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1987, cat. 8, p. 69 (illus., another example).

Edwards, D., Margaret Preston, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005, p. 47

Catalogue text

'Around 1915-16 Preston transposed the compositions of Japanese prints into a series of sketches and paintings in which the linear rhythms of interiors and kimono-clad women became those of the vases, flowers, cups, saucers and jugs of her still-life arrangements. A figure composition by Kiyonaga for example, was transposed into a sketch for an arrangement of jugs and flowers... Preston scattered sketchesfor compositions across her books on Japanese art. The painting Nasturtiums c1916 echoes at all points the vertical and diagonal rhythms of an original composition by Harunobu. Extant prints from around 1916, Still Life and flowers and Narcissi, are exercises in Japanese spacing and evoke the sense of similar translations. Such transpositions, takenonly from figurative Japanese prints, reiterate the way in which Prestonarranged the objects of her still lifes with the weight and prominencetraditionally attached to the figure.'1

1. Edwards, D., Margaret Preston, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005, p. 47