Summary

Alternative Name(s): Eucalpytus Leaf, Gumleaf, Artwork

Leaf painted with image of a wounded soldier - the word Gallipoli' and '1915' in gold with a red cross.

Several Australian artists painted on gum leaves for the war effort, and amateurs were also known to paint gum leaves to send to loved ones serving overseas. Among the artists was Lilla Reidy (1858-1933, aka Elizabeth Mary Ann Reidy), who exhibited with the Victorian Artists’ Society in Melbourne from 1895 to 1910. In 1915 her work was described by the Weekly Times as 'showing a soldier’s head silhouetted in khaki, and a Red Cross flag'. In June 1918 'The Ladies Letter' in Punch noted that Lilla was president of 'a band of thirty women artists' who 'Previous to Anzac Day...used to meet regularly, making small bannerettes of white calico on which were painted emblems and battalion colours, by the subsequent sale of which they raised £4000 for soldiers’ funds'. Lilla continued her work afterwards, painting soldiers' details on watered silk, adorned with a laurel wreath of gold and a sprig of gum blossom, available for sale to raise funds for soldiers’ widows and children. 'Soldiers’ sweethearts...have strikingly used them as panels on watered silk bags'.

Physical Description

Leaf painted with image of a soldier, the word Gallipoli and the year 1915 in gold, and a red cross.

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