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Sailing Boats on Calm Ocean

11.5 x 36.5 cm
Signed, circa 1910

Helene Maude Rust

Helene Maude Rust, (1914 - 2004) was an English artist. Born in Mussoorie, India, Rust was a relative of the Duke of Nottinghamshire. Her grandfather Thomas and father Julian were two of the earliest photographers in India and managed five photography studios named Rust & Rust. She grew up in Huntingdon, Nottinghamshire and travelled often to India. Rust was taught by a governess as was the custom of the time and studied Russian, French, dancing and painting. When her dream of having a career as a dancer was dashed by a serious accident, she turned to painting. Rust and her sister Violet had wanderlust in their veins and travelled all around the world, from Paris, India, Australia and Vietnam. When the Second World War broke out, Rust worked for some years as a nurse in Africa.

Her brother Cecil came to Ceylon in 1925 as a young man and soon established himself as a proprietary planter as well as becoming the Chairman of the Times of Ceylon newspaper group. After many years of adventurous living, the Rust sisters moved to the Mount Franion tea estate near Katugastota, Ceylon in the late 1950’s where they spent the rest of their lives. Helen Rust was known for painting whimsical, delicate compositions of fairies and nymphs as well as sketches of birdlife around her estate. Kindred spirits, the Rust sisters never married or had children and lived together until Violet Rust’s death in 1974.