Hodgkins, Frances - Dordrecht.jpg

Frances Hodgkins

Dordrecht, 1908

Watercolour, 53.5 x 69 cm
Signed F.H. & dated ‘08

To Rachel Hodgkins, 11 February 1908. Dordrecht, Netherlands.

There has been a lovely pink barge in the canal in front of my window & I have been painting it. I sent Pete, the waiter, over to find out how long it was going to remain & to tell the Captain I was painting it & to stop as long as he conveniently could. The Captain, much pleased, ran up a little Dutch flag & saluted me at the window.

Frances Hodgkins left London for Dordrecht, in Holland, towards the end of May 1907. On the boat over she discovered her old Caudebec acquaintance Moffatt Linder, who was based in St Ives but came to Dordrecht twice a year to a year to paint.

They parted company in Dordrecht, but agreed to meet later. Frances had advertised for art pupils in London and hoped to gather a group of five. Two students joined her at her Pennock's Hotel and she set about finding suitable images of the town and its people to paint.

Her watercolour,Dordrecht, contains many of the elements she would have been looking for. The painting with its muted colours, reflecting the wet overcast day, has a certain liveliness. The light glistens on wet surfaces and plays off puddles, the canal and clouds, thereby activating the rust and dark hues, the forest greens and the vivid touches of ultramarine blue that are used sparingly throughout the composition.

Teaching brought with it its own challenges. One of her pupils became ill and had to return to England and while she gained one or two more students, her costs were barely covered. She did, however, make the aquitance of Dutch painter, Evert Moll, who lived in Dordrecht but also painted in London and Paris. Frances accompanied Moll on several painting excursions.


Source - Joanna Drayton, Frances Hodgkins: A Private Viewing (Auckland, 2005) p.111


Joanne Drayton, Frances Hodgkins: A Private Viewing (Auckland, 2005) p.111


Adelaide, AU. Art Gallery of South Australia. 1923