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George Bell

(Factories at Sunset), 1912

Price: $5,500

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oil on canvas

42.00 x 59.00

signed 'George Bell' and indistinctly dated '12' l.l.

Provenance:

Salamanca Place, Hobart (label on previous frame)

Note:

The location of this landscape is not obvious: the only river of such width is the Thames which, at its lower reaches flows through relatively flat country - a fact which begs the question as to the eminence from which it was painted as well as the hills in the distance; a further topographical issue would be width of the river in the middle ground which does not tally with maps of the lower reaches.

The following note relates to both the Wheeler and Bell painting (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. 

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. The location of this landscape is not obvious: the only river of such width is the Thames which, at its lower reaches flows through relatively flat country - a fact which begs the question as to the eminence from which it was painted as well as the hills in the distance; a further topographical issue would be width of the river in the middle ground which does not tally with maps of the lower reaches.

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.

 

View artwork in Exhibition

Further works by the Artist

(Nude)

George Bell

c. 1940

pencil and pastel on paper, 24.50 x 34.50

SOLD

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Seated Nude

George Bell

pen and watercolour on paper, 33.00 x 23.00

SOLD

View More

Since its establishment in 1984, the Charles Nodrum Gallery’s exhibition program embraces a diversity of media and styles - from painting, sculpture & works on paper to graphics and photography; from figurative, geometric, gestural, surrealist & social comment to installation & conceptually based work.