Portrait of Rex Irwin (1990)

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About the work

Title: Portrait of Rex Irwin (1990)
Artist: Judy Cassab
Material: Oil on canvas
Location: Woollahra Council Chambers, Double Bay

Excerpt from Judy Cassab’s diary from 2 December 1990

Rex Irwin’s letter of last month: “My dear Judy, a belated note to tell you how much I enjoyed our portrait sessions. I am sure I learned at least as much about you as you did about me! Even if my knee was numb, my mind was not. I never cease to be amazed how revealing sitting for a portrait is. One feels exposed on the one hand and a collaborator on the other. I am very pleased with the result, but I am sorry I caused you so much trouble! You should have spoken to my mother first and she would have told you I was troublesome. One thing I really admire about you is your honesty and your inventive, but correct use of the English language – you shame those us to whom English is our native tongue.

I truly understand your devotion and love for Jancsi who is my idea of a truly good man. I am very proud to have been admitted to your pantheon of friends.

My love and thanks to you both


Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Judy Cassab.