Leda

199.1976##SLeda-&-Swan-AGNSW-for-web

1935-39  Oil on canvas
Height 77cms Width 107cms
The Art Gallery of New South Wales

Leda was painted in London by the light of 24 candles cut in half. With the use of a mirror, Murch had 100 candlepower. The pointillist work was left in the care of the McIlwraith family when Murch and friends Wallace and Pat Thornton set off for a camping trip of Europe, oblivious that WWII was imminent. Frank McIlwraith was the Australian representative of Smith’s Weekly. The painting returned to Australia in the late 1940’s.

Frank’s wife Madge and son Shaun McIlwraith returned the painting to Arthur. Madge had looked after the work, along with others through the London Blitz. Leda was hung in the Royal Academy and later purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales