PORTRAIT OF MRS RAE JONES

James McLauchlan Nairn

UHPC 1/35, Water colour, 650mm (h) x 575mm (w)

The face of 18-year-old Jane Rae Jones, a student at Wellington Technical School, was indeed masterfully painted in startling yet convincing shades of green. But Nairn's biased self-review of his own work at the 1895 New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts' exhibition was at the expense of his Christchurch allies. This was too much for a furious Gibb who revealed in Christchurch's Press that the critic was none other than Nairn. The exchange undermined Nairn and had a detrimental impact on the unity of the Impressionist movement.

Christchurch and Nelson Impressionists failed to exhibit at the third and final Wellington Art Club exhibition organised by Nairn in 1896 and New Zealand's impressionist movement lost its momentum.

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