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Mrs Mary Nearne
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London
Private Collection, UK


Johannesburg, Johannesburg Art Gallery, British Council Empire Exhibition, 1936, cat no.320
Leeds Temple Newsam House, Paintings and Drawings by Augustus John O.M. R.A., 24 July - 31 August 1946, cat no.15
London, Royal Academy, Works by Augustus John O.M. R.A., 13 March - 27 June 1954, cat no.212


Painted in 1910, the year of John's initial, joyous discovery of the Provencal town of Martigues. Glimpsed from a train en route to Italy, John referred to this enchanting town on the banks of the Etange de Berre as 'the goal of my dreams', and would return regularly with his family to stay at the Villa Ste Anne for the next eighteen years. Characteristically, it was not only the colour and beauty of the Provencal landscape that delighted John, but also that of the handsome local population. In a letter to Ottoline Morrell written shortly after his first arrival in Martigues, Augustus remarked, '... I have seen so many powerful women whose essential nudity no clothing can disguise.'