State Library of NSW
Burdekin House, Macquarie Street, Sydneyundated
Portia Geach studied painting and design at Melbourne Gallery School and in London under John Singer Sargent. She moved to Sydney in 1904 and lived for a time on Macquarie Street. An award for portraiture by a female Australian artist was established in Geach’s memory by her sister Florence.
Geach has painted Burdekin House, brightly lit at night, in scraped back, simple yet vibrant, evocative colours. Built in 1842 for merchant Thomas Burdekin, the house on Macquarie Street was described as the finest private residence in Sydney. Burdekin House was demolished in 1933 and replaced by St Stephens Presbyterian Church the following year.