Collection Online
Ada Garrick (Mrs Bright)
oil on canvas
126.4 × 87.8 cm
Place/s of Execution
London, England
inscribed in brown paint u.r.: J. Longstaff / 1895
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Gift of Miss Rachel Bright, 1953
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Vizard Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Subjects (general)
Subjects (specific)
capes (outerwear) dresses (garments) fans (costume accessories) hairstyles standing three-quarter-length figures women (female humans)


Original, by R. J. Stannard, London

The frame is an English rendering of the Italian cassetta form, which became popular in the last decades of the nineteenth century. It was popularised in Melbourne by the framer John Thallon and is found on paintings by Melbourne painters of the 1880s and 1890s. The construction here uses thick sections of timber, rather than thin veneers, to create the base of oak to carry the gilding which leads to a more stable decorative system. If, as seems likely, the frame has been cut down to fit the painting, we are left to ponder whether it is a recycling by Longstaff or another party.

R. J. Stannard
30 Great Russell Street, London W.C.

The frame is assembled from two primary sections. The outer edge is a simple timber profile carrying a torus of imbricated laurel and berry. The torus is made from a thin composition pressing, wrapped around a softwood timber core, and is mitred at the corners. The leaves of the torus section all point in the one direction which suggests these sections have been cut from long lengths of moulding. The flat of the frame is made from an oak board laminated to a pine base, mitred at the corners. The sight edge carries a fine-scale composition imbricated leaf and berry section. The rebate is formed by the addition of battens, lap joined on the reverse. The torus is oil gilded. The flat appears to be water gilded direct to the timber. The cavetto either side of the torus are water gilded on a yellow bole.


The frame is in good condition, apart from some losses in the composition elements and resurfacing of the working edge. The gilding is worn and discoloured in places and some over-painting can be noted. The sight-edge bevel is over-gilded. There is evidence that the frame has been cut down by re-cutting the upper right and lower left mitres.

154.5 x 116.0 x 7.5 cm; sight 124.5 x 86.0 cm
More Information
National Portrait Gallery


Location of stamp
Upper right and lower left of reverse of canvas (appears twice)
Ink stamps
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National Portrait Gallery