This lustrous painting belongs to a large body of works devoted to the theme of the female nude that Snow created from 1953 to 1959. As with his other figurative works, the subject here is not based on a model, but is purely a product of the artist’s imagination. She lacks facial features and her body is rudimentary in form, yet the surface of her body is masterfully rendered with a fusion of shimmering colours. Complementing these opalescent hues are the woman’s red hair, the dark green chair, and the blues and greens in the background. Snow’s handling of colour produces a figure who, despite her simplified form, emanates a powerful, radiant energy.
Early Snow: Michael Snow 1947-1962
Michael Snow, Seated Nude (Red Head), 1955
Oil on canvas, 127 x 81 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Gift of Avrom Isaacs and Donnalu Wigmore, 2017 (2017.16). Photo: Michael Lalich.