Motherhood, Nora Heysen
  • Artist
    Nora Heysen
  • Born
  • Died
  • Title
  • Date of Production
  • Medium
    oil on canvas
  • Dimensions
    763 x 645 mm
  • Credit Details
    Martha K. Pinkerton Bequest Fund, 1942

Nora Heysen


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 composition.