The Group of Seven, which regularly invited artists to join them, suggested that Lilias Torrance Newton take part in their exhibitions in April 1930 at the Art Gallery and in May 1930 at the Art Association of Montreal. She sent two portraits, including this one of Elise Kingman. In May 1931, in a solo show held at the Lyceum Club and the Women’s Art Association of Toronto, she showed the Kingman portrait again. On this occasion, critic and writer Jehanne Bietry Salinger wrote: “‘Elise’ was a striking portrait in which the artist used elegant motives for a bit of psychological fantasy . . . [it] indicates another possibility in figure work which allows us to look toward Montreal with confidence and interest” (The Canadian Forum, June 1931). The varnish (provided by Edwin Holgate) that Torrance Newton used for this portrait is what gives it its distinctive reddish tint.
© National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa