Flowers by Judy Cassab

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Judy Cassab AO CBE (1920–2015) was one of Australia's best-loved, most successful and prolific portrait painters. Born in Vienna, she studied art in Prague and at the Budapest Academy before adopting false papers and 'going underground' to escape the persecution of Hungarian Jews. After the war, she and her husband reunited and emigrated to Australia in 1951. Within months of arriving in Sydney, she was commissioned by Sir Charles Lloyd Jones to paint a portrait of his wife, becoming an Archibald finalist for the first time the following year. In 1953, she held her first Australian solo exhibition at Sydney's Macquarie Galleries. The winner of the Australian Women's Weekly Portrait Prize in 1955 and 1956, by the mid-1960s she was sought-after as a portraitist, completing commissions for high-profile clients such as Princess Alexandra and Queen Sirikit of Thailand. In 1960, she won the Archibald Prize for her portrait of her friend, Stanislaus Rapotec; in 1967, she won it again with her painting of artist Margo Lewers. In all, Cassab had 41 paintings exhibited in the Archibald Prize.

Through her many other portraits – both formal commissions and portrayals of family and friends – she created a distinct record of Australian society from the 1950s onwards. Cassab also found inspiration for a more abstract style of painting in the landscape of the Northern Territory, to which she repeatedly returned, and won several awards for her landscape works in the Wynne Prize. Her many awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of Sydney and the 1996 Nita B Kibble Literary Award for her published diaries.

Oil on canvas
Provenance: Vera Kaldor auction
Signed lower right

Framed W 70 x H 110 cm

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