A mother of France

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Pas de Calais, Etaples
Accession Number ART03281
Collection type Art
Measurement framed: 88.5 cm x 76.5 cm x 10.5 cm
Object type Painting
Physical description oil on canvas
Maker Nicholas, Hilda Rix
Place made France: Nord Pas de Calais, Pas de Calais, Etaples
Date made 1914
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Hilda Rix Nicholas painted this old woman in Étaples, in the north of France during the First World War. The woman is depicted seated in her kitchen with her hands folded in her lap, a row of blue plates on a whitewashed shelf in the background. At the outbreak of the First World War, Rix Nicholas and her sister were living in Étaples. They later returned to London, but Rix Nicholas's mother and sister died of illness. In 1916, she met and married a fellow Australian, Major George Nicholas, who was killed five weeks later on the Western Front. 'A mother of France' can be seen as a comment on the grief of mothers whose sons are killed in war.