Listening to Art

11.08: Prudence Heward, Anna

Download (MP3).

Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume eleven, number eight: Anna by Prudence Heward.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

Prudence Heward (1896–1947) was a Canadian artist; she is known now especially for her portraits of women. She was born in Montreal, and aged twelve began to take lessons at the Art Association of Montreal. During World War One she worked for the Red Cross in England. After the war she returned to Montreal, studied and painted more, and quickly began to achieve success and win prizes at art competitions. She returned to Europe a few times to study and paint, but lived in Montreal until her death at fifty. Though never a member of an artists’ group, she was close to the Beaver Hall Group in Montreal and exhibited several times with the Group of Seven.

I quote from the “Significance and Critical Issues” and “Biography” sections of Julia Skelly’s Prudence Heward: Life & Work.

Heward was celebrated during her lifetime: her memorial exhibition in 1948 had been a critical and popular success, and she was included in a 1964 exhibition at the Continental Galleries in Montreal. And she was never completely forgotten or erased from the Canadian canon after her death. For instance, she was one of the very few women artists included in Dennis Reid’s A Concise History of Canadian Painting.…

Heward is now recognized as an important modernist artist of the early twentieth century, and her paintings continue to garner attention from art historians concerned not only with Canadian art but also with issues of class, gender, and race.

This is a painting, oil on canvas, 66.4 cm wide by 91.6 cm high.

Now let’s listen to Anna by Prudence Heward, recorded at the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, on 29 June 2022.

Waveform of the field recording.

That was Anna by Prudence Heward. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

For more information and links to things I’ve mentioned, please visit

Listening to Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


All web sites accessed as of date of publication.

Skelly, Julia. Prudence Heward: Life & Work. Toronto: Art Canada Institute, 2015.

Wikipedia, s.v. “Prudence Heward,”