Frances Hodgkins painted this watercolour in 1900, at a time when she had committed to support herself as a professional painter. In these years she did not follow the examples of her father, William, or her older sister, Isabel, and focus on the landscape. Rather, she became interested in the human figure and showed a particular interest in Māori women. There is a certain sentimentality in Hodgkins's portrayal of the woman and child, but the delicate washes of colour prefigure her style later in her career.
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