Freda Robertshaw

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Freda Rhoda Robertshaw
Born 1916
Sydney, Australia
Died 1997
Sydney, Australia
Nationality Australian
Known for painter
Movement stylised art deco

Freda Rhoda Robertshaw (1916–1997) was an Australian artist. Born and raised in Sydney, she trained at the East Sydney Technical College until 1937, and became an apprentice and partner of Charles Meere. Both artists were conservative academic artists, painting the human figure in a studied neoclassical style. Painters Arthur Murch and Napier Waller, and photographers Max Dupain and Olive Cotton are regarded as contemporaries with a similar vision.

In 1998, Australian Beach Scene (1940), a feminised response to Meere's famous 1940 work Australian Beach Pattern, sold at Sotheby's for $A475,500, a record for an Australian woman artist at the time.[1][2] She was also the first Australian woman artist to paint a fully nude self-portrait with Standing Nude (1944), which was also her last figure painting, representing her break from Meere's influence. Standing Nude was regarded as "the star attraction" of the 2001 Modern Australian Women exhibition, which debuted at the Art Gallery of South Australia.[3]

Robertshaw later experimented with landscape and surrealism; one of her surrealist works, Composition (1947), was acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.[4]


  1. ^ Maslen, Geoff (30 July 2002). "Women push through the canvas ceiling", The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  2. ^ Philip McCouat, "The origins of an Australian Art Icon", Journal of Art in Society,
  3. ^ James, Bruce (18 June 2003). "Pictures of restraint make an impact all their own", The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  4. ^ ROBERTSHAW, Freda | Composition, National Gallery of Australia. Retrieved 16 November 2012.