Watercolour portrait of Irene Lemon from 1944. Irene is seated against a white backdrop with various objects around her feet, including a candle, a bowl, and a vase of dried flowers.
Archives Control Number
Regina Artworks 1944-1
At the Archway
Since little is known about Irene Lemon’s life, this portrait acts as a biography, whereby her essence and character are presented. The objects scattered across Irene Lemon’s floor challenge the assumptions of what a woman’s space from the 1940s should look like. Her skirted suit, along with the luxurious red glove gripped in her hand indicate Irene’s careful consideration for fashion. Her hair seems intentionally messy as if she had just taken out a pinned-up hairstyle and is now relieving herself of the tension. These details, along with Irene’s body language and facial expression suggest that she is at ease while having her portrait painted. Is Irene’s character so well captured due to Mary’s familiarity with her as a friend? Or did Irene’s ability to be candidly herself allowed Mary to portray her essence so well?
Why This Piece Was Chosen
I was drawn to this piece because of the art style and colours, which reminded me of comic book pop art. I was also interested in who Irene Lemon was and was exited to do some research on her and share it with everyone. However, I soon found out that there is next to nothing on the internet about her. So, I decided to analyze the space around her, in addition to her body language, to infer who Irene was.