Portrait of Naomi Newby-Fraser (nee Eliovson) signed and dated 'Irma Stern / 1941' (upper left) gouache 50.5 x 44cm (19 7/8 x 17 5/16in).
Naomi Eliovson left school in Johannesburg and started writing children's fantasies, which were regularly published in local and national newspapers. While viewing an Irma Stern exhibition in Johannesburg, she was approached by Stern who wanted to paint her portrait.
"The Fat Lady confronted me. She had sailed up, her floating floral concealing part of her bulk. Gripping my wrist, she pulled me after her to a small room beyond the canvases - an office/resting place where everything was at the ready. The easel, her palette, a large wooden crate onto which she helped me - the model's throne, minus a seat! Primarily, she would concentrate on my face. Don't smile. Don't twitch. Keep dead still. Eyes were to stay focused on a point she had selected. Try not to blink. So there I stood, little pink bow in my dark hair that tumbled from a pork-pie hat, its brim aptly creating a halo. Never quivering for what seemed aeons of time, back-ache setting in later... We were in good accord, Irma Stern with her brushes, me with my dreams." (N. Newby-Fraser)
The work remains in the wooden frame selected by Stern at the Herbert Evans shop shortly after finishing the work.