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After visiting Paris in 1920, Gertler expressed his admiration for Renoir in a series of female portraits that reveal a sensuous interplay between the mellow skin tones and often highly coloured and elaborate costumes of his sitters. The flamboyant scarf and feathered hat identify this sitter as a 'Coster', removed from her urban setting, relocated (like the artist himself) to Hampstead, and set against a backdrop of the Heath. The artist's family always believed the model to be Gertler's eldest sister, Debbie. The same model appears as the matriarch in The Coster Family on Hampstead Heath (1924, Tel Aviv Museum of Art). This painting formerly belonged to the English tenor Peter Pears. It was sold to pay for repairs following a fire at the Snape Maltings concert hall in Aldeburgh, Suffolk, that Pears had established with the composer Benjamin Britten.

Details

  • Title: The Coster Woman
  • Creator: Mark Gertler
  • Date Created: 1923
  • Physical Dimensions: h 58.5, w 61 cm
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: portrait
  • Art Form: painting

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