Frances Mary Hodgkins (New Zealander/British, 1869-1947)
Portrait of a Maori girl signed with intitials 'FH' and dated '96' l.r. watercolour 28 x 21.6 cm. (11 x 8½ in.)
Born in Dunedin in the South Island of New Zealand, Hodgkins was exhibiting in Dunedin and Christchurch by 1890, in the same year she was elected a member of the Otago Art Society. In the years leading up to her first trip to Europe in 1901, Hodgkins often painted Maori subjects such as this. These were not ethnographic studies; her early work was heavily influenced by the Impressionists, and included figure studies and portraits, mostly in watercolour. Many similar portraits of Maori women and girls can be found in national collections in New Zealand.
A similar portrait of a Maori girl is illustrated in I. Buchanan, E. Eastmond & M. Dunn, Francis Hodgkins (London, 1995), fig.5.