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Randolph Stanley Hewton

Carmencita

Artist

Randolph Stanley Hewton
Mégantic, Quebec, 1888 – Trenton, Ontario, 1960

Title

Carmencita

Date

1922 or earlier

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

63 x 66.2 cm

Credits

Purchase, Christine and Pierre Lapointe Fund, gift of R. Fournelle, inv. 2017.55

Collection

Quebec and Canadian Art

Carmencita was exhibited for the first time in 1922 at the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts’ Fall Salon, held at the Art Gallery of the Art Association of Montreal (AAM, now the MMFA). In 1923 and 1924, the work was shown as part of an exhibition of contemporary Canadian art in at least five major U.S. institutions. Its title likely refers to a famous Spanish dancer of the 1880s known as “the Pearl of Seville,” who was the subject of numerous paintings. Hewton was interested in vivid coloration and decorative effects, as well as in portraying women of the modern era’s fashionable society. The freedom with which he painted the background gives this painting a relatively abstract look, complicating the reading of the red flowers and large comb typically worn by Spanish dancers. The work is meant to be an affirmation of the modern woman, a theme Hewton promoted amongst his many female students, including Prudence Heward and Sarah Robertson, at the AAM’s School of Art, and as the second president of the Beaver Hall Group, the country’s first association of artists in which there was gender equality.

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