Brighton Museum and Art Gallery has organised a gallery of works by women artists from its collection. Alison Smith carved a living out of standard portrait painting of the deserving members of the Establishment. Other than she was trained at the Royal College, nothing else is known of her, and I take this opportunity to encourage serious scrutiny of her remarkable painting, Country Sunday 1934, long in the Museum's painting store.

Figures move uniformly in the one direction, perhaps towards Church, in their sober fineries, a Church which casts its shadow over the figures. The viewer's eye can't explore the landscape, blocked as it is by the picket fence. Straggly and unconvincing trees hint at gardens and open space beyond. A faint roofline to the right hints at a surrounding village.

To the left there is an an elderly couple, a last pull on the pipe, a tug on the gloves before Church. To the right a man is out walking his dog (straight out of Bonnard) , looking towards a couple of gossiping lads by the Post Office Box (no collections today).Note they are both wearing ties for Sunday and maybe destined for the Pub.

Parents leads their young daughter towards us but the composition is dominated by the single female figure prepared for inclement weather in long skirt, thick, fur edged jacket,carrying an umbrella. It is surely an evocation of the leaden atmosphere of a joyless day experienced by an isolated, single young woman.The little characterisation allowed the single figure shows her consumed within herself, melancholic in her absorption and meeting no other gaze.Her umbrella is hooked on the left arm which crosses the body in a gesture that is almost defensive.

The burgeoning energy of the Clouds beyond belies the gravity and hopelessness of the figure. The quality of the paint and the artful economy of outline reinforce this absorbed quality throughout.

The painting is also a celebration of citizen's hats, for Sunday - the Day of the Hat - bonnets, brims, bowler, trilbies,and a brace of flat hats for lads. The palette selected is mainly a weaving of tertiary hues with a preference for saturated pea greens.

The painting has the surface density of a Meredith Frampton and stylisations that, in Stanley Spencer, are just annoying. Is there anybody out there who can find more work by this artist beyond the stolid official portraits?