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Charles Wheeler

(Barges on the Thames, with Vauxhall Bridge in the distance), c. 1914

Price: $3,500

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oil on canvas

45.00 x 60.00

unsigned - certificate of authenticity signed by Peter Perry, executor of the artist's estate.

Provenance:

The Estate of the artist; 
Gibson's Auctions, 15/6/20, lot 6

Note:

In this painting the elegant arches of the bridge in the distance point to various possibilities but the architecture and the topography combine to suggest this to be Vauxhall Bridge (built in 1906) looking east from the south bank.

The following note relates to both the Wheeler and Bell paintings (cat. nos. 11 & 12)
After finishing his studies at the NGV School in 1907, Charles Wheeler set off to London and Europe in 1912.  Apart from the war years when he served in the army, he exhibited at both the RA in London and the Paris Salon till his return to Melbourne in 1927. In this painting the elegant arches of the bridge in the distance point to various possibilities but the architecture and the topography combine to suggest this to be Vauxhall Bridge (built in 1906) looking east from the south bank.

George Bell, his near contemporary, was also an NGV School graduate, and also worked in London and Paris from 1904, making a not dissimilar mark before returning to Melbourne in 1920.

It’s enlightening to see two Melbourne artists embarking with similar success to explore the atmospherics of the famous mists and fogs of London.  Metaphorically, a fresh breeze seems to be wafting down from Turner and Whistler in both works.  Thereafter their careers took very different turns.  Bell is best remembered as a pivotal figure in the slow emergence of modernism in Australia whereas Wheeler’s equally determined pursuit of the impressionism of the 19th Century narrowed his scope and this precluded him from a fuller participation in the arts of his time.

 

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