Story: Painting

Rita Angus, 'A goddess of mercy' (2nd of 2)

Rita Angus, 'A goddess of mercy'

Rita Angus painted this work soon after the end of the Second World War as a memorial to her sister, Edna, who had died in 1939. Angus painted a number of images of female figures, often self-portraits, and they tend to have considerable symbolic content. In this work a goddess of mercy, surrounded by a halo of branches, holds a yellow crocus, an early sign of spring, while the ploughed fields, the melting snows and the quiet animals promise a peaceful future now that the war is over.

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Christchurch Art Gallery - Te Puna o Waiwhetu
Reference: 69/75
Oil on canvas by Rita Angus

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Courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Nationalism and landscape painting, 1935 to 1965', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/45888/rita-angus-a-goddess-of-mercy (accessed 18 June 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014