Ben Uri collection

Portrait of Rosemary Friedman

Artist information

Name Eva Aldbrook (1925-)

Other name Mehl, Melova, Urbach

Born Hamburg, Germany

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Painter, illustrator and costume designer Eva Aldbrook was born Eva Mehl in Hamburg, Germany and immigrated to the UK with her family in 1938. She attended Bunce Court - a progressive boarding school in Kent for Jewish refugee children - for one year, meeting there her future husband Alexander Urbach (afterwards Aldbrook), a Viennese refugee, whom she married seven years later. After training as a classical dancer (taking the name Eva Melova), she studied fashion and costume design under Muriel Pemberton at St. Martin's School of Art, becoming a highly successful fashion illustrator in the 1950s and 1960s, celebrated for her elegant, confident designs with commissions from fashion house Dior and publications including British Vogue, The Evening Standard and The Sunday Times. In later years she turned to portraiture and landscapes of the Tuscan countryside, where she spent some years running an olive farm with her husband, later returning to England.

Object Details

Date 1987

Object type painting

Medium oil on canvas

Materials and techniques oil (medium) canvas (support)

Unframed 75.3 x 62.4 cm

Framed 78.8 x 65.9 cm

Signed T verso: monogram (595) Rosemary Friedman - Eva Aldbrook

Acquisition gift from the artist 1987

Accession number 1987-4

Display status not on display

A portrait of the prolific writer Rosemary Friedman with her trademark mane of hair and round glasses. The artist's observation of her sitter wearing smart clothes amid an elegant setting, conveyed in a palette of warm, complimentary russet tones, draws on her former career as a fashion illustrator.


painting | portrait

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© Eva Aldbrook