The Red and White Hat
Oil on card
18 x 22.75 inches
Altrincham Libraries Museum & Art Galleries, Altrincham, no. 9
Private collection, UK
Conder, as an impecunious student, contracted syphilis in his native Australia paying his landlady his rent in bed. In 1890s Paris he knew Toulouse-Lautrec, Beardsley and Wilde, and spent summers painting in Dieppe, often with his friend Jacques-Emile Blanche. This painting, probably set in a brothel in about 1900, may have been exhibited in 1930 in a joint posthumous exhibition with Ambrose McEvoy at the Beaux Arts Gallery. A reviewer of the exhibition wrote in Art News and Notes: ‘Charles Conder was one of the shining lights of the nineties. His subtle delicate sense of colour, his dream- like imaginativeness made his contemporaries forget his fundamental weakness, his amateurishness. There is nothing in this exhibition to show that his contemporaries had a better judgement than one ripened by the experience of post- impressionism. He remains still a charming colourist’.