Born Melbourne, Australia 1883, died Melbourne 1960
Janet Cumbrae Stewart attended the National Gallery School, Melbourne from 1901–07 under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin, after enjoying outdoor sketching trips with John Mather. During her studies she was awarded second place in the National Gallery travelling scholarship competition (1905). She exhibited regularly with the Victorian Artists Society (VAS) during 1909–19, and was elected to the VAS council in 1914. A regular exhibitor in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, she was granted membership to the Australian Artists Association (1916–22), significant recognition in an organisation generally reserving membership for the most accomplished of male artists.
Moving to live in London in 1922, Cumbrae Stewart began exhibiting at the Galérie Beaux-Arts, Paris (1924–31), the Royal Academy, and the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français, Paris. The Salon acknowledged her work with an honourable mention in 1923.
After living in France and Italy for seventeen years, Cumbrae Stewart visited her family in Melbourne in 1939, and remained there after the outbreak of World War II until her death. Cumbrae Stewart is best known for her graceful pastel studies of the female nude. Her work is represented at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and a number of other Victorian galleries.