The first woman to win the Archibald Prize and Australia's first
officially recognised female war artist, Nora Heysen received her
first art lessons from her father Hans Heysen before studying at
the School of Arts in Adelaide and later in Europe.
Regarded as the first of her works on this theme, Motherhood was
painted after Nora Heysen returned from Europe (1937) and was the
winning entry for the Melrose Prize for portraiture in 1941.
Set against a familiar background of the Adelaide Hills where Nora
grew up, the painting makes conscious reference to the Renaissance
paintings of Madonna and Child, both in palette and