Collection Online
oil on canvas
52.4 × 44.2 cm
inscribed in brown paint l.r.: Dora. Meeson / 1920
Accession Number
Australian Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1928
Gallery location
Not on display


Original, by Rowley, London

The frame is a late working of the themes developed by Whistler and those closely influenced by his approach to framing; in particular we might look to the frames used by Mortimer Menpes. It reflects the integration of a number of historic framing elements: the simplified form of Italian cassetta frames, the rich textures of ripple mouldings from Dutch and German frames of the seventeenth century and the materials and tonalities associated with nineteenth-century Aestheticism. The frame is a rare example in the collection. The maker is identified by a small paper label on the reverse.1


1 Notes on Rowley frames are found in Jacob Simon, The Art of the Picture Frame, pp. 22, 185.  Another frame by this Rowley company, with the same label, can be found on Meyer Altson's Winged words (Portrait of the artist's wife) (1748-5).
An earlier company with the same name based in Manchester, made frames for Rossetti; see ‘Alastair Grieve: The Applied Art of D G Rossetti–1. His picture frames’, Burlington Magazine, vol. cxv, no 838, January 1973. See Ford Maddox Brown's The Entombment (209-2) with a Canaletto style frame by Charles Rowley.

140-2 Church St., Kensington W8

The frame is built up from a number of simple wooden sections mitred at the corners and fitted together to appear as a solid section. The surface treatment of shallow wave and ripple patterns may be applied moulding, but this is not clear. The frame is gilded with silver leaf, which has been coated to appear as gold, but with traces of the silver giving a particularly cool tone to the colour. The slip is painted black, as is the reverse of the frame.


The frame is in good original condition throughout.

72.0 x 64.0 x 2.0 cm; sight 51.0 x 43.0 cm
More Information
National Portrait Gallery