M. Clarke

Margaret Clarke (1888-1961), Julia O' Brien (1906-1987)

Margaret Clarke (1888-1961)
Julia O’Brien (1906-1987)

Graphite on paper, 71.4 x 48.5 cm
Purchased, 2007
NGI.2007.21

Julia O’Brien worked as a maid and nanny in the Clarke household during the 1920s. She was also one of Margaret Clarke’s principal models, and appears frequently throughout her work. Clarke often depicts Julia in a pensive mood during moments of introspection. In this intimate portrayal she skilfully captures the young woman’s sense of innocence and vulnerability, as well as her impish features and attenuated limbs. In 1939, a critic celebrated the artist’s ‘remarkable drawings in which individuality is caught in a few swift economical lines’.

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