La Condition Humaine 2008


This vivid hot-air balloon scene has become one of Douglas MacDiarmid’s most familiar and evocative paintings. Not only is it the cover image of his biography ‘Colours of a Life: The life and times of Douglas MacDiarmid but it tells a lot about his life, work and interests. And, since it was painted, the back
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Portrait of Constance Sochachewsky 1948


This mesmerising face is a luminous memory mark of Douglas MacDiarmid’s post-war days in London. One of his best-known early paintings, Portrait of Constance Sochachewsky, wife of Maurice Sochachewsky 1948 depicts a much-loved friend who breathed vitality and high spirits into the young artist’s experience of the cold, often cheerless city of food rationing and broken
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Leaving New Zealand 1946


More than seventy years ago, on 13 July 1946, Douglas MacDiarmid first sailed from New Zealand - bound for England, and ultimately France. World War II was over and the sea lanes to the Northern Hemisphere were finally open again to non-military passengers. He was travelling as tutor to 11-year-old Buddy, son of his Christchurch
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Eumenides 1972


This curious Douglas MacDiarmid artwork of a face within a face tells a complex story of centuries past and the progress of humanity. It’s a striking example of Douglas' use of classical references in his work. In ancient Greek and Roman mythology, the Eumenides were originally the Erinyes or Furies, three primal-goddess monsters of vengeance
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Café scene Ponte Leecia, Corsica 1949


Douglas MacDiarmid first explored and painted on the mountainous French island of Corsica while working au pair on a farm in the hills behind the French Riviera. He had just returned to France to make his life as a painter. A long ferry ride from the mainland, the intense light, wild rocky vistas and ramshackle
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