Prudence Heward’s searing and psychologically complex portraits were anything but ladylike. One of Canada’s first woman painters to publicly exhibit female nudes, her art challenged the portrayal of her gender. Read and download the online art book here: www.aci-iac.ca/prudence-heward
Heward’s cousin, well-known Montreal interior designer Mary Harvey, was believed to have introduced her to the work of English painter, Vanessa Bell. Bell, “Design for a Small Screen,” c. 1920, Art Gallery of Ontario.
“Miss Lockerby,” (c. private collection) is a portrait of Heward’s friend, the artist Mabel Lockerby. This work is exemplary of Heward’s early paintings of women, which tend to depict solitary figures with a muted palette in nondescript settings.
During the First World War, Heward travelled to England with her mother and sister to work for the Red Cross. “Untitled (Figural sketch of a nurse and a patient),” c. National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.