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Stella Maris, 1998 Digital Link to digital version

 Item — Box: LTFBOX/MYERS Box 1
Identifier(s): H2019.53/11
Stella Maris
Stella Maris

Scope and contents

Shows a central female figure with a tear stained face and a crown of flowers surrounded by a whaling scene with a whaling boat and men hunting and harpooning a great white whale spouting blood. Below the whaling scene the Wildlife Oasis of Ill Porto is depicted with the names of the animals inscribed in the drawing: Pulci the monkey, Ruby the pig, Lola and Saffron, Gordon and Fay the dogs, chooks and chickens, and minature sized donkey and foxes. The view of Galli Island near Positano is seen from Il Porto. Galli Island was once owned by Leonide Massine of the Ballets Russes and later by Rudolf Nureyev.

In an entry in Vali Myers diary January 2001, p. 38, H2018.443, she describes the drawing: '"Stella Maris" in the upper left hand of this drawing is a whaling boat with men rowing like fury, busy hunting and harpooning the great white whale above the foam-ing swirl of the sea are my stormy petrels.'


  • 1998


  • Myers, Vali, 1930-2003 (Artist, Person)

Conditions governing use

Copyright restrictions apply.

Copyright status

This work is in copyright.


1 drawing : pen, sepia and watercolour ; 38.4 x 28 cm

General note

Signed and dated inside the flukes of the whales tail on right hand side: Vali Myers 1998.

Inscribed lower right: dedicated to Winnie, my tortoise.

Reproduced in 'Nightflower: the life and art of Vali Myers', p. 17.

Described in detail by Robert K. Wallace in 'Vali Myers: Between the dusk and dawn', p. 39 and reproduced on p. 89.

One of 14 framed works on paper from exhibitions, deframed.

Described by Gianni Menichetti in 'Notes about Vali's drawings in this book' (YMS 16335, Box 6/3): Star of the Sea. Once again an awe-inspiring whale-hunting scene. The harpooned whale in her fury attacks the boat with the hunters who sink to their doom. The veiled figure is the Shekina, the female soul of God in the Jewish cabalistic tradition, who weeps because she is in exile. She's like the spirit that floats upon the waters and wisdom that's gone beyond the beyond. Here really she's weeping because men in their blind destructive force are killing the greatest of all warm blooded sea-animals, like stabbing her very heart. Below her, scenes from the Valley, Ruby, Vali's third huge pig, with dogs, and Fanny in the garden braying. This drawing is dedicated to Winnie, the ancient tortoise who survived a husband and a lover, and no one knows how many owners before Vali got her in the 60s.


  • Myers, Vali, 1930-2003 (Artist, Person)
  • Box: LTFBOX/MYERS Box 1 (Graphic materials)

Repository details

Part of the Pictures Collection, State Library Victoria Repository

328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000 Australia
03 8664 7002