Home from market 1916
oil on canvas
Gift of Mr and Mrs MJ Dowling, 1980
Photographer: Andrew Curtis
Geelong-born Eugenie Durran began her career as a concert pianist before enrolling at the National Gallery School in Melbourne in 1911, where she studied under fellow Geelong painter Helen Peters. She excelled in the execution of still life paintings, with her works winning numerous student prizes.
Durran painted Home from market for the 1917 National Gallery of Victoria Travelling Scholarship competition. The models used in this scene include Durran’s mother on the left, future sister-in-law on the right and one of her young piano students. Here, three generations of women animate their market bounty through contrasting gestures: an apple gracefully presented for inspection; fish imminently prepared by a gripped knife. We can imagine the stray cabbage leaf that lies beneath the table will soon be collected by the broom clasped by the youngest of the trio.