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Important Australian + International Fine Art

by Deutscher and Hackett

Platinum House

166 lots with images

August 28, 2013

Live Auction

Paddington Town Hall

Corner of Oxford Street & Oatley Road

Paddington, 2021 Australia

Phone: +61 02 9287 0600

Fax: +61 02 9287 0611

Email: info@deutscherandhackett.com

166 Lots
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Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891 - 1915,  French PRINTED BY HORACE BRODZKY 1885 - 1969 WRESTLERS, c1914 linocut

Lot 1: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891 - 1915, French PRINTED BY HORACE BRODZKY 1885 - 1969 WRESTLERS, c1914 linocut

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Description: Henri Gaudier-Brzeska 1891 - 1915, French PRINTED BY HORACE BRODZKY 1885 - 1969 WRESTLERS, c1914 linocut SIGNED edition: 42/50 signed and numbered below image: HBrodzky, imp. 42/50 DIMENSIONS 22.5 x 28.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney RELATED WORKS Wrestlers, 1914, cast c1965, plaster, 71.1 x 92.7 x 7.6 cm, collection of the Tate Gallery, LondonOther examples of this print are in the collections of the British Museum, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Art Institute, Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and the Museum of Modern Art, New York

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British OFF, 1963 emulsion on hardboard (housed in Perspex)

Lot 2: Bridget Riley 1931, British OFF, 1963 emulsion on hardboard (housed in Perspex)

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British OFF, 1963 emulsion on hardboard (housed in Perspex) SIGNED signed and dated on edge: RILEY '63 DIMENSIONS 24.5 x 29.0 cm (irregular) PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist EXHIBITED Bridget Riley, Gallery One, London, 9-28 September 1963 LITERATURE Bridget Riley: Works 1960-1966, Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert and Karsten Schubert, London, 2012, p. 89 (illus.) ESSAY Insistently abstract with its stark monochrome palette and arresting formal arrangement, Off, 1963 is a compelling example of the controversial Op Art compositions which first brought Riley international recognition during the 1960s. Seemingly bereft of any trace of the external world, such works featured geometric shapes - squares, ovals, circles and triangles - structured in increasingly subtle and disorienting ways. Not surprisingly perhaps, critics at the time frequently interpreted these works as purely formal exercises or worse, dismissed them as decorative 'trompe l'oeil' pursuits. Yet while utilising precise structures, Riley does not intend these as ends in themselves; instead the viewer is drawn into a dialogue with the work, thus subverting the prevailing conventional assumption that a painting is an essentially passive, inert object.1As Riley herself muses, the appearance of a painting such as Offis 'as much inside one as it is "out there".'2Accordingly, it would seem futile to attempt to describe Offfor example, in terms of arrows or chevrons for, while the work's nature is in a sense 'contained' in these ostensible surface marks, its meaning only emerges through the viewer's very private and unique responses to the sensations elicited by the painting's physical features. Thus evoking a range of visual experiences - some viewers might focus upon the implication of movement, while others the sense of compression, and still more might perceive light as colour - the composition remains deliberately enigmatic. As the artist asserts, 'I want my paintings to exist on their own terms. That is to say they must stealthily engage and disarm you. There the paintings hang, deceptively simple - telling no tales as it were - resisting, in a wellbehaved way, all attempts to be questioned, probed or stared at and then, for those with open eyes, serenely disclosing some intimations of the splendours to which pure sight alone has the key.'31. Moorhouse, P., 'The ultimate secret of things: Perception and sensation in Bridget Riley's art' in Bridget Riley: Paintings and Drawings 1961-2004, Ridinghouse, London, 2004, p. 152. Riley, cited ibid.3. Riley, cited in Moorhouse, P., (ed.), Bridget Riley, room brochure accompanying exhibition, 'Bridget Riley', Tate Britain, London, 26 June - 28 September 2003VERONICA ANGELATOS

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British STUDY FOR WHITE DISKS, 1964 ink on paper

Lot 3: Bridget Riley 1931, British STUDY FOR WHITE DISKS, 1964 ink on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British STUDY FOR WHITE DISKS, 1964 ink on paper SIGNED signed, dated and inscribed lower left: Study for White Disks '64 / Bridget Riley DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 28.0 cm (sheet) PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist EXHIBITED Bridget Riley, Richard Feigen Gallery, New York, 1966Bridget Riley, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, 1966, cat. RF 1595 (label attached verso RELATED WORKS White Disks 1, 1964, emulsion on hardboard, 132.0 x 132.0 cm, collection of Mr J.D.J. Schmitt, Schenectady, New York, illus. in Bridget Riley: Works 1959-78, British Council, London, 1978, cat. 20, p. 40White Disks 2, 1964, emulsion on hardboard, 104.0 x 99.0 cm, private collection, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 6, p. 69Fragment 6/9 (from 'Fragments' series), 1965, screenprint on Perspex, 62.5 x 72.0 cm, collection of the Tate Gallery, London ESSAY Although compositionally very different, Study for White Disks, 1964 similarly investigates the fundamental role of perception which lies at the core of our existence. As Moorhouse elucidates, analysing another version of the present composition, White Discs 2,1964 (private collection):'... What we see, in looking at the painting is not simply its surface characteristics; rather, the visual experience of the work is intimately connected with our inner responses to it. Indeed, the overwhelming impression is that it is only in looking that the true nature of the painting is revealed and completed... The initial (sensory) phase when the eye accepts the motif passively is defined by a fleeting impression of rows of black discs, of varying sizes. This view is very quickly overtaken by a secondary (perceptual) stage which is marked by the appearance of numerous ghostly white discs - after images - which exist alongside their black progenitors. A third, open-ended phase is characterised by the viewer's interaction with the situation as it is now presented. In this stage, the eye moves freely around the pictorial space, alternating between the apprehension of real and virtual images. This process is self-sustaining in that the white after-images reappear, fade and are regenerated indefinitely. The capacity of Riley's art for regeneration, using elements from within itself, is a remarkable aspect of her work.'11. Moorhouse, P., 'The ultimate secret of things: Perception and sensation in Bridget Riley's art' in Bridget Riley: Paintings and Drawings 1961-2004, Ridinghouse, London, 2004, p. 16VERONICA ANGELATOS

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British UNTITLED NO. II, 1966 gouache on paper

Lot 4: Bridget Riley 1931, British UNTITLED NO. II, 1966 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British UNTITLED NO. II, 1966 gouache on paper SIGNED signed lower right: Bridget Riley DIMENSIONS 34.0 x 50.5 cm (sheet) PROVENANCE Robert Fraser Gallery, LondonCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Bridget Riley, Robert Fraser Gallery, London, September 1966, cat. RF1539 (label attached verso) ESSAY 'The basis of my paintings is this: that in each of them a particular situation is stated. Certain elements within that situation remain constant. Others precipitate the destruction of themselves by themselves. Recurrently as a result of the cyclic movement of repose, disturbance and repose, the original situation is re-stated.'1Featuring black elliptical dots on white ground, arranged in a grid but turning fractionally to create a disconcerting, almost irritating, instability of focus, Untitled No. II, 1966 highlights brilliantly this principle of 'repose, disturbance and repose' so central to Riley's art from this period. By disrupting the regular progression of dots in this way, she thus heightens the emotional resonance of her work to create intense physical and psychological responses within the viewer - effects not dissimilar to those precipitated by contemporary 'happenings'.2In her fascination with the concept of 'disturbance' and specifically, the way in which an internal pattern could be manipulated to work against its larger structure, Untitled No. IIalso betrays the influence of Pisan Romanesque architecture which Riley had appreciated firsthand during her travels to Italy in 1960 with friend and mentor, Maurice de Sausmarez. Indeed, like the distinctive medieval buildings where the complicated inlays and bands of black and white marble conspire to deny the overall shape of a façade, so too here Riley proffers a sense of disturbed equilibrium within what seems a rigid serial structure - the essential 'subject' of her art from this period.1. Riley, B., 'Perception is the Medium', Artnews, vol. 64, no. 6, October 1965, pp. 32-332. Ibid.VERONICA ANGELATOS

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 3, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 5: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 3, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 3, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Bright Green, Blue and Red, surrounding one another / Study 3inscribed verso: R1203 DIMENSIONS 30.0 x 82.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 RELATED WORKS Sequence Study: Bright Green, Blue and Red, 1973, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 167.5 cm, collection of the artist, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 75, pp. 118-119 ESSAY 'I saw that the basis of colour is its instability. Instead of searching for a firm foundation, I realised I had one in the very opposite. That was solid ground again, so to speak, and by accepting this paradox I could begin to work with the fleeting, the elusive ... and so a whole new area of activity, of perception opened up for me.'1Where previously Riley's adoption of a monochrome palette had enabled her to investigate the cyclic movement of repose and disturbance, no such stable basis existed for colour, as she had long been aware from her immersion in the art of Seurat. Indeed, with the perception of colour inherently unstable, Riley recognised that the experience of colour was entirely relative - its behaviour and appearance dependent upon context. Accordingly, in 1967 when she first commenced her explorations in colour, the emphasis upon highlighting the presence of 'perception' in her art receded with Riley pursuing rather the interaction of colours and their potential to convey a powerful impression of light. Strongly reminiscent of the monumental Paean, 1973 (National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo) executed the same year in a similarly restricted palette of intense, highly saturated reds, blues and greens woven together in narrow vertical bands of equal width, the present compositions (lots 5-9) encapsulate well this transition in the artist's intentions. With the colours of each repeated triad inflected slightly and interspersed between white ground to create a dynamic surface play of vivid flickering light, the objective is now a more subtle 'continuous instability', a gentle inevitability as opposed to the arresting formal destabilisation of her black-and-white oeuvre.1. Riley, cited in Kudielka, R., (ed.), Bridget Riley: Dialogues on Art, Zwemmer, London, and Wappingers' Falls, New York, 1995, p. 56VERONICA ANGELATOS

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 4, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 6: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 4, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 4, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Bright Green, Blue and Red, surrounding one another / Study 4inscribed verso: R1204 DIMENSIONS 31.0 x 116.5 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 RELATED WORKS Sequence Study: Bright Green, Blue and Red, 1973, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 167.5 cm, collection of the artist, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 75, pp. 118-119

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 5, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 7: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 5, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 5, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Bright Green, Blue and Red, surrounding one another / Study 5inscribed verso: R1205 DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 110.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 RELATED WORKS Sequence Study: Bright Green, Blue and Red, 1973, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 167.5 cm, collection of the artist, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 75, pp. 118-119

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 6, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 8: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 6, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 6, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Bright Green, Blue and Red, surrounding one another / Study 6inscribed verso: R1206 DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 88.5 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 RELATED WORKS Sequence Study: Bright Green, Blue and Red, 1973, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 167.5 cm, collection of the artist, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 75, pp. 118-119

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 7, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 9: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 7, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British BRIGHT GREEN, BLUE AND RED, SURROUNDING ONE ANOTHER, STUDY 7, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Bright Green, Blue and Red, surrounding one another / Study 7inscribed verso: R1207 DIMENSIONS 30.0 x 68.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 RELATED WORKS Sequence Study: Bright Green, Blue and Red, 1973, gouache on paper, 30.5 x 167.5 cm, collection of the artist, illus. in Moorhouse, P. (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, cat. 75, pp. 118-119

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British SEQUENCE STUDY 1, TURQUOISE, MAGENTA, OCHRE, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 10: Bridget Riley 1931, British SEQUENCE STUDY 1, TURQUOISE, MAGENTA, OCHRE, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British SEQUENCE STUDY 1, TURQUOISE, MAGENTA, OCHRE, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Sequence Study, Turquoise, magenta, ochrebears inscription verso: CAT. / 86 DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 191.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 EXHIBITED Bridget Riley, Works 1959-78, British Council retrospective exhibition, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, USA, 1 September - 8 October 1978; toured to Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Texas, USA, 25 October - 26 November 1978;Neuberger Museum, New York, USA, 28 January - 18 March 1979;Centrepoint Gallery Space, Sydney, Australia, 15 August - 16 September 1979;Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 4 October - 5 November 1979;National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan, 19 January - 2 March 1980, cat. 86 LITERATURE Bridget Riley, Works 1959-78, British Council, London, 1978, cat. 86, p. 73 (as 'Sequence Study 1: Turquoise, Magenta and Olive [sic]', lent by Mr Lex Aitken) ESSAY 'You could say that change is consistent of colour, but in perception these changes do not take place as ruptures, nor are they in any sense rapid. They are shifts within a particular envelope. Every painting has its own character - its own "light"; it may be fresh, a shining sparkle or a yellow saturated glow, or even dusky mid-tone. But none of these qualities can be precisely nailed down any more than those of real daylight. They are unavoidably elusive.'1Employing the repeated stripe motif witnessed in the previous colour compositions (lots 5-9), the present is similarly predicated upon the juxtaposition of a triad of colours in different sequences to precipitate colour reactions: again, two colours are nearly opposites (here magenta and turquoise) while the third is an adjacent (ochre) designed to shift the emphasis. A seemingly neutral vehicle which allows colour energies to develop uninhibitedly, this structural arrangement bears strong affinity with the aesthetic principles underlying the Zen gardens of Japan: main stone - counter stone - adjacent stones.2What remains certain however, is that Riley's formal organisation does not derive from scientific knowledge or complex colour theories (despite her self-professed fascination with Seurat): as she vehemently maintains, '...my work has always developed on the basis of empirical analyses, and I have always believed that perception is the medium'.3Although perception remains the medium in her colour investigations, now the perception of colour serves increasingly to convey the perception of light. Thus, not surprisingly perhaps, it is in these colour compositions that the connection between her art and Nature culminates. No less abstract in formal terms than their monochrome counterparts, such works nevertheless exude an impression of heightened familiarity: as Riley muses, 'colour inevitably leads you to the world outside.'41. Riley, cited in 'Into Colour: In Conversation with Robert Kudielka' (1978), reprinted in Moorhouse, P., (ed.), Bridget Riley, Tate Publishing, London, 2003, p. 2102. Kudielka, R., 'In Conversation with Robert Kudielka' (1972), reprinted in Moorhouse, ibid., p. 2083. Riley, B., 'Perception is the Medium' (1965), reprinted in Moorhouse, ibid., p. 2074. Riley, cited in Riley, B., Bridget Riley: Dialogues on Art, Zwemmer, London, 1995, p. 70VERONICA ANGELATOS

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Bridget Riley 1931,  British SEQUENCE STUDY 2, TURQUOISE, OCHRE, MAGENTA, 1973 gouache on paper

Lot 11: Bridget Riley 1931, British SEQUENCE STUDY 2, TURQUOISE, OCHRE, MAGENTA, 1973 gouache on paper

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Description: Bridget Riley 1931, British SEQUENCE STUDY 2, TURQUOISE, OCHRE, MAGENTA, 1973 gouache on paper SIGNED signed and dated lower right: Bridget Riley '73inscribed lower left: Sequence Study, Turquoise, ochre, magentabears inscription verso: Cat. / 87 DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 191.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney, acquired directly from the artist, c1973 EXHIBITED Bridget Riley, Works 1959-78, British Council retrospective exhibition, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, USA, 1 September - 8 October 1978; toured to Dallas Museum of Fine Art, Texas, USA, 25 October - 26 November 1978;Neuberger Museum, New York, USA, 28 January - 18 March 1979; Centrepoint Gallery Space, Sydney, Australia, 15 August - 16 September 1979;Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Australia, 4 October - 5 November 1979; National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan, 19 January - 2 March 1980, cat. 87 LITERATURE Bridget Riley, Works 1959-78, British Council, London, 1978, cat. 87, p. 73 (as 'Sequence Study 2: Turquoise, Magenta and Ochre', lent by Mr Lex Aitken)

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Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STUDY FOR AUTOBAHNIN THE BLACK FOREST I, 1979 oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas on board

Lot 12: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STUDY FOR AUTOBAHNIN THE BLACK FOREST I, 1979 oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas on board

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Description: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STUDY FOR AUTOBAHNIN THE BLACK FOREST I, 1979 oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas on board SIGNED signed lower right: JEFFREY SMART DIMENSIONS 41.0 x 42.5 cm PROVENANCE Rudy Komon Gallery, SydneyPrivate collectionSavill Galleries, Sydney (label attached verso)Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Jeffrey Smart, Rudy Komon Gallery, Sydney, 8 November - 3 December 1980 , cat. 2 LITERATURE Quartermaine P., Jeffrey Smart, Gryphon Books, Melbourne, 1983, cat. 737McDonald, J., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney 1990, cat. 200 RELATED WORKS Autobahn in the Black Forest I, 1979, oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 74.0 x 90.0 cm, private collectionAutobahn in the Black Forest II, 1979-80, oil and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 100.0 x 65.0 cm, private collectionPanel of Studies for Autobahn, Black Forest, 1979, oil synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 52.0 x 45.5 cm ESSAY From contemporary life, where apartments, cities, roads and motor vehicles are part of being, Jeffrey Smart developed a language of forms and colours that celebrate signs and surfaces. The miracle of his art lies partly in his conversion of the mundane - what could be less inviting than the back view of a truck departing along a broad road? - into harmonies of the most seductively beautiful colour, full of expectancy and originality. And his mastery of composition is invariably at its best in his paintings of the autobahns, autostradas, and freeways of Europe and Australia. One of his earliest successes was The Cahill Expressway, 1962, in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. The Sydney road was never emptier than in this painting. Yet, his pictures are never really empty. They may feel empty, and isolation is a leitmotif; but they are full of emotion and discovery, imbued with the feeling that something strange is about to happen. As in Surrealism, they have a dream-like quality, accentuated by their super realism, quite unforgettable. His several Black Forest autobahn paintings and studies, inspired by travel through the Black Forest in southwest Germany, are among his most arresting, enlivened by the interplay of red and white diagonals.For Autobahn in the Black Forest I, Smart makes clever use of the close up view in both study and finished painting, by bringing the back of the sign forward to the picture surface. Then, between the other backsides, he cheekily introduces that of the truck in a colour of brilliant aqua. Everything is on the move - actually, in the truck, and visually, through the recession of the road signs - but Smart freezes the moment for our disturbance and delectation. The yellow arrow points in the opposite direction setting up further notions of movement; light plays on the signs in a concerto of contrasts; and the grey of the road surface finds harmony in the leaden skies. The placement of the sign right on the picture plane provides a subtle difference between the painting and the study. It is dramatically confronting, halting the eye and increasing the illusion of recession. The study has three red diagonals instead of two, with a partially seen yellow lamp at the top. While the study gives insight into the painting's evolution, they each share a feast of dramatic angles, subtle tonal variations through shadow and the fall of light, and the rhythmic play between positive and negative space. There is something magical about art, especially in the illusion - as simple and as fascinating as the curve of the pole contrasting with the flat of the painted sign.DAVID THOMAS

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Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED RED PAINTING, 1961 oil, gouache, collage of canvas on board

Lot 13: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED RED PAINTING, 1961 oil, gouache, collage of canvas on board

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Description: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED RED PAINTING, 1961 oil, gouache, collage of canvas on board DIMENSIONS 32.0 x 39.0 cm PROVENANCE Matthiesen Gallery, LondonCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney LITERATURE Sutherland, K., Brett Whiteley:A Sensual Line, 1957-67, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2010, p. 246

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Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED WHITE PAINTING, 1961 oil, tempera, pencil and mixed mediaon paper on board

Lot 14: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED WHITE PAINTING, 1961 oil, tempera, pencil and mixed mediaon paper on board

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Description: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 UNTITLED WHITE PAINTING, 1961 oil, tempera, pencil and mixed mediaon paper on board SIGNED signed and dated verso:Brett Whiteley / 1961 DIMENSIONS 34.0 x 25.0 cm PROVENANCE Matthiesen Gallery, LondonCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney LITERATURE Sutherland, K., Brett Whiteley:A Sensual Line, 1957-67, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2010, p. 242

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Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 SUMMER I, 1961 tempera, collage, pencil and charcoal on paper on card

Lot 15: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 SUMMER I, 1961 tempera, collage, pencil and charcoal on paper on card

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Description: Brett Whiteley 1939 - 1992 SUMMER I, 1961 tempera, collage, pencil and charcoal on paper on card SIGNED signed lower left: 61 / Whiteleyinscribed on backing board verso: CAT NO 14 / SUMMER I / Brett Whiteley / 1961 /... DIMENSIONS 56.0 x 78.0 cm PROVENANCE Matthiesen Gallery, LondonCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Brett Whiteley Paintings and Gouaches, Matthiesen Gallery, London, 9-31 March 1962, cat. 17 (label attached verso, incorrectly identified as 'White Summer', cat. 21) (illus. in exhibition catalogue) LITERATURE Sutherland, K., Brett Whiteley: A Sensual Line, 1957-67, Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, 2010, p. 244

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Arthur Boyd 1920 - 1999 THE ARTIST'S CAMP, 1973 oil on canvas

Lot 16: Arthur Boyd 1920 - 1999 THE ARTIST'S CAMP, 1973 oil on canvas

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Description: Arthur Boyd 1920 - 1999 THE ARTIST'S CAMP, 1973 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: Arthur Boydinscribed verso: The Artist's Camp - 1973 / no. 68 DIMENSIONS 92.0 x 101.0 cm PROVENANCE Fischer Fine Art, LondonCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Arthur Boyd: Recent Paintings, Fischer Fine Art, London, May - June 1973, cat. 68 (illus. p. 31 in exhibition catalogue) RELATED WORKS Chained figure and bent tree, 1973, oil on canvas, 152.4 x 122.0 cm, collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, illus. in Pearce, B., Arthur Boyd Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1993, p. 131Kneeling figure with canvas and black can, 1972, oil on canvas, 114.3 x 190.5 cm, collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, illus. in Pearce, B., Arthur Boyd Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1993, p. 132 ESSAY Arthur Boyd was an artist of prodigious insight, obsessed with painting, given to working in series, and a mythologizer. The abundance of brilliant paintings he produced are invariably passionate and enigmatic, perhaps none more so that the 'Caged Painter' series to which The Artist's Camp, 1973 belongs. Janet McKenzie found them to be 'among the most difficult to fathom and appear as the most vehement of Boyd's statements about the human condition. They reveal his thoughts at a private and essentially subconscious level.'1Set in the starkness of the Australian landscape, 'the painter', wrote Ursula Hoff, 'in the seventies is the victim of a world which expects him to perform for reward: he is also at the mercy of his own hyperactivity, of an excess of fantasy'.2Much is summed up in Chained Figure and Bent Tree, 1973, the artist's head encaged in wire as he overcomes mind manacling restraints to paint, likewise in Kneeling Figure with Canvas and Black Can, 1973 with its metaphorical black dog. Both were shown in the same solo exhibition in London as our painting, and are now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.In The Artist's Camp, 1973, the painter becomes the black beast stretched across the foreground, brushes fist-held in seeming anguish and frustration, lovers in the middle ground. The title evokes tradition and invites comparison with the past, possibly Tom Roberts's 1886 painting of the same title in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Gone are the tent and suppertime shared by Frederick McCubbin and Louis Abrahams. Gone is the encompassing bush of Houston's farm at Box Hill. Gone is the companionship between artists and the bush. They are replaced by a crude lean-to and blighted desert. The late twentieth century was, at this particular time, a harsh one for the painter, under challenge from conceptual and other forms of art in which the craft of painting was thought no longer relevant. The metaphor of the barren landscape with its dead and dying trees is meaningful.The prominence of the black dog with paint brushes leads to Darleen Bungey's observation - 'The dog is a doppelganger perhaps, given the descriptive of "dog" so often attached to Arthur by his friends ...'. She continued, '... the hang-dog, a black symbol of depression, the artist dogged by his own dark thoughts. Arthur would describe the dog as a bestial or sexual element but in so many paintings from this period, to become known as the Caged Artistseries, the dog whispers in the artist's ear of images past, visions he must continue to un-see.'3Boyd helps us to see.1. McKenzie, J., Arthur Boyd: Art and Life, Thames and Hudson, London, 2000, p. 1572. Hoff, U., The Art of Arthur Boyd, Andre Deutsch, London, 1986, p. 663. Bungey, D., Arthur Boyd: A Life, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2008, p. 489DAVID THOMAS

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Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 SUMMER AFTERNOON, c1890-91 oil on canvas

Lot 17: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 SUMMER AFTERNOON, c1890-91 oil on canvas

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Description: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 SUMMER AFTERNOON, c1890-91 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower left: Rupert C.W. Bunny DIMENSIONS 48.0 x 64.0 cm PROVENANCE Private collection, possibly the Molnar family, HungarySotheby's, Sydney, 15 August 2000, lot 50Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1893, cat. 2 (as 'A Summer Afternoon', £26.5.0)Institute of Painters in Oil Colours, London (distressed label attached verso) LITERATURE Edwards, D., Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009, p. 48 (illus.) ESSAY During the last decade of the nineteenth-century, Rupert Bunny spent a rich and fruitful time in Hungary. He undertook portrait commissions, EXHIBITED in the annual Spring International Exhibitions of the Hungarian National Fine Arts Society, and Pastorale, c1893, one of his most important early works, was bought by Baronne de Bánffy, wife of the then Prime Minister of Hungary, DezsőBaron Bánffy de Losoncz. Bunny first visited Hungary in the summer of 1889 as the guest of the People's Theatre Company, established by his friend Zsigmond Justh on the family's country estate at Pusztaszenttornya. Bunny and Justh met in Paris the year before, the gifted writer being a talented pianist and popular figure in the fashionable salons of Paris. He introduced Bunny to a glittering Parisian social world of the gifted, Sarah Bernhardt being but one of them. That same year Bunny painted Justh's portrait, which is now in the Museum of Literature Petöfi, Budapest.On Bunny's second visit to Hungary in 1890, Justh wrote in the Magyar Bazárof Bunny coming 'here to us to paint'.1Summer Afternoon is believed to be one of the works painted during this visit. This is supported by a letter Bunny wrote to Justh from Paris on 26 June 1891 in which he spoke of how greatly he enjoys his visits, saying he felt 'quite homesick for St Tornya'. Referring to 'sketches from St Tornya', which he sent to an exhibition, he added, 'I have put figures into each of them and made pictures'.2Examination of Summer Afternoonshows that the figures have been added, demonstrated by the thicker overlay of the paint.The model for the central figure is Jeanne-Heloise Morel, Bunny's future wife. A mood of languor envelops the scene as four women relax out-of-doors, seated, reading, gathering flowers. It is a variant on the favourite Bunny theme of the idyll, transferred from the shoreline peopled with mythological creatures to the open countryside as an image of contemporary life. Summer Afternoonprovides a foretaste of those masterpieces of feminine charm and elegance of indolence, A Summer Morning, c1897 (Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide) and Dolce Farniente, c1897 (private collection), what Deborah Edwards referred to as 'Feminine Arcady'.3It is redolent of the atmosphere of a European summer's day, of moments bathed in the light warmth of the sun and gentle breeze, suggesting a beauty that is timeless. EXHIBITED at the Royal Society of British Artists, London, 1893, together with A Sea Idylland Bella Giovanna, the English critics admired Bunny's work for its individuality, especially its combination of imagination and realism as found in this painting.1. Justh, Z., 'Egy Angool Festöröl', Magyar Bazár, Budapest, 1 June 1890, p. 86, translated by Eniko Hidas for the Art Gallery of New South Wales2. Bunny to Justh, Paris, 26 June [1891], letters to Zsigmond Justh 1888-1893, Hungarian National Szechenyi Library, Budapest3. Edwards, D., Rupert Bunny: Artist in Paris, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2009, p. 59DAVID THOMAS

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Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 THE NYMPH OF SALMACIS, c1919 oil on canvas

Lot 18: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 THE NYMPH OF SALMACIS, c1919 oil on canvas

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Description: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 THE NYMPH OF SALMACIS, c1919 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right with monogram: RCWBinscribed verso: The Nymph of Salmakis [sic] / R C W Bunny DIMENSIONS 56.0 x 46.0 cm PROVENANCE Dr Ewan Murray-Will, SydneyCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Exposition Rupert Bunny: Tableaux, Galleries Georges Petit, Paris, 2-15 May 1922, cat. 13 (as 'La Nymph de Salmacis')Exhibition of Paintings by Rupert C.W. Bunny, Hogan's Art Gallery, Melbourne, 23 September - 10 October 1936, cat. 14 (as 'The Nymph of Salmakis' [sic])Autumn Exhibition, Victorian Artists Society, 27 April - 9 May 1937, cat. 67 (as 'The Nymph of Salmakis' [sic]) LITERATURE Turnbull, C., and Buesst, T., The Art of Rupert Bunny, Ure Smith, Sydney, 1948, pl. 41 (illus.), p. 75, (as collection of Dr Ewan Murray-Will) ESSAY '... so when their forms met in that clinging embrace the nymph and the boy were no longer two, but a single form, possessed of a dual nature, which could not be called male or female, but seemed to be at once both and neither.'1Rupert Bunny was well versed in the myths and legends of ancient Greece, learnt from his father as a child. Such was his familiarity that Lucy Swanton, director of the Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, where Bunny EXHIBITED in the 1940s, once told me - 'Rather disconcertingly he would speak of the Olympian gods and goddesses, the Greek heroes and their women, as casually and familiarly as of next door neighbours with a reminiscent smile for the charmers and that look of slight distaste for the vengeful and meddling ladies.'2From his early days in Paris in the late nineteenth-century, through the 1920s and beyond, Bunny drew upon this knowledge to create paintings rich in Symbolist interest and individuality. In 1890, he was the first Australian artist to be awarded an honourable mention by the Société des Artistes Français for his painting Tritons(Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). In 1892 Sea Idyllwas purchased by the great benefactor and Bunny patron, Alfred Felton, and given to the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Years later Bunny returned to his 'mythological decorations', as he then termed them, with paintings that pulsated with colour, rhythm and exotic form. Influenced by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, which had a sensational impact on Paris and its artists from its first performances in 1909, Bunny produced a body of paintings and related colour monotypes that many connoisseurs consider his most important and individual contribution to art. EXHIBITED in Paris at the Galeries Georges Petit in 1922, the paintings included The Rape of Persephone, The Prophetic Nymphs(both National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), Circe and Ulysses(Geelong Art Gallery, Victoria), Courtisanes à la Campagne(National Gallery of Victoria), and The Nymph ofSalmacis. They were well received by the Paris critics. Writing for Le Figaro, Arsène Alexandre observed lightly, 'The gods are so little in favour, nowadays, that one is charmed to encounter an artist who deals with them, even treats them with familiarity. Mr Rupert Bunny, whose successes at the Salons have been numerous and long-standing, is one of those daring enough to do so. May the gods of Olympus, and the demi-gods of the earth reward him.'3When shown in Melbourne in 1937, George Bell described the exhibition as a 'glorious riot of colour'.4The tale of Salmacis from Ovid's Metamorphosestells of the nymph who passionately pursued Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite. Nymph of the fountain where Hermaphroditus bathed, Salmacis embraced him and prayed to the gods that they become one body, the very moment depicted by Bunny. In granting her wish, the gods gave birth to the word 'hermaphrodite'. The waters of Salmacis, near Halicarnassus, were said to have wrought an effeminate change on those who drank from them.1. Ovid, 'Salmacis and Hermaphroditus', Metamorphoses, Book IV2. Swanton, L., 'Some personal recollections of Rupert Bunny in the forties', type written manuscript, 24 September 1967, p. 23. Alexandre, A., 'La vie artistique - Expositions', Le Figaro, 5 May 1922, p. 2 (I would like to thank Anne Gérard for this reference and Emily Groves for her kind assistance with the translation.)4. Sun News-Pictorial, Melbourne, 23 September 1936, p. 33DAVID THOMAS

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Arthur Streeton  (1867 - 1943)  THE RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, c1908 oil on canvas

Lot 19: Arthur Streeton (1867 - 1943) THE RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, c1908 oil on canvas

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Description: Arthur Streeton (1867 - 1943) THE RIALTO BRIDGE, VENICE, c1908 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower left: A Streeton DIMENSIONS 62.0 x 75.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Major Harold de Vahl Rubin, QueenslandChristie's, Sydney, 4 October 1972, lot 423 (as 'Bridge of Sighs, Venice')Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Arthur Streeton, Alpine Club, Savile Row, London, 26 March - April 1909, cat. 41 (as 'Rialto Bridge'), 40 gnsArthur Streeton's Venice, Guildhall, Melbourne, 13 - 27 July 1909, cat. 6 (as 'The Rialto Bridge'), 40 gnsArthur Streeton's Exhibition of Paintings, Athenaeum Gallery, Melbourne, 24 August - 4 September 1937, cat. 7 (as 'Rialto Bridge') RELATED WORKS The following two works show the Rialto Bridge from a different angle: The Rialto, Venice, from the Streeton sketch book 'Venetian studies spring + summer' 1908, pencil and wash on paper, 26.0 x 36.0 cm (sheet), collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, gift of the artist 1943Rialto Bridge, Venice, 1908, lithograph on paper, 25.4 x 34.3 cm, collection of the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, M.J.M. Carter Collection 1970 ESSAY 'What news on the Rialto?'1Recalling Shylock's comment from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, it is no surprise to learn that for centuries the Rialto was the financial and commercial centre of Venice, the Grand Canal here spanned by the magnificent Rialto Bridge. During his two visits to Venice in 1908, Arthur Streeton painted both the Rialto and its bridge. Until the mid-nineteenthcentury, the bridge was the only means of crossing the canal by foot. Wooden bridges had been there for centuries. When the last one was collapsing through decay, it was decided to hold a competition for the design of a new one, in stone. Although Michelangelo and Jacopo Sansovino were among the competitors, the commission was given to the appropriately named Antonio de Ponte (Anthony of the bridge). Completed in 1591 and regarded as something of an architectural miracle for its single span of stone, it was and still is one of the wonders of Venice. Like in design to the wooden one it replaced, the bridge, as seen in Streeton's painting, proudly strides the sparkling waters of the Grand Canal with its steeply inclined ramps leading up to the central portico, shops on either side.A city of enchantment and water-borne splendour, Venice has always attracted lovers. Australian artists, like so many others, were not immune to its charms. Emanuel Phillips Fox and Ethel Carrick honeymooned there in 1907, painting many reminders of the city's numerous beauties in works that now grace the walls of our leading collections. The following year of 1908 Arthur Streeton and his bride Nora followed suit. Reports have it that while Streeton painted, Nora read Charles Dickens' Great Expectations. Many fine paintings resulted, Streeton capturing the beauty and wonder of its architecture bathed in the magical light of 'La Serenissima'. It was spring, Streeton returning in autumn - the two seasons when the romantic fairyland is at her most entrancing - to complete further paintings. In March of 1909 at London's Alpine Club, Streeton EXHIBITED such treasures as Venice, Bride of the Sea(Carrick Hill, Adelaide), Blue Lagoon fringed round with Palaces, and Rialto Bridge, inspiring the art critic for the London Observerto write: '...Mr Streeton has caught the opalescent glitter of the Venetian canals and marble palaces in moments of bright sunshine as few artists have done before him ...'.2Streeton cleverly cast the marble white of the Rialto Bridge in shade to enable the beauty of its detail and grandeur of its span to be better seen against the light on the canal waters and clear, sunny skies.1. Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, scene III2. Observer, London, 4 April 1909, quoted in Galbally, A., Arthur Streeton, Lansdowne Press, Melbourne, 1979, p. 71DAVID THOMAS

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Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 EVENING, ST KILDA ROAD, c1930 oil on board

Lot 20: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 EVENING, ST KILDA ROAD, c1930 oil on board

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Description: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 EVENING, ST KILDA ROAD, c1930 oil on board SIGNED signed lower right: C. Beckettinscribed on paper label verso: Evening St Kilda Roadframer's label attached verso: John Thallon, Melbourne DIMENSIONS 35.5 x 40.5 cm PROVENANCE Private collection, Melbourne, c1930, a gift from the artistThence by descentPrivate collection, MelbourneDeutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 15 June 2005, lot 17Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney ESSAY Times of transience and soft-focus realism unite in the art of Clarice Beckett, suited ideally to sunrises and sunsets, foggy days and heat haze. Evening, St Kilda Road, c1930 provides the perfect moment as Beckett cloaks the city scene in a diaphanous veil, highlighted by lights and anchored in the darker forms of cars and trams. Its aesthetic appeal is enormous. But there is twofold pleasure in the reminiscence of a scene well known to Melburnians from a time less crowded than today. The absence of narrative allows for the better presentation of beauty, like music, free from the demands of verisimilitude. As Beckett once said, 'My pictures like music should speak for themselves.'1The likeness was appreciated in her own time, as witness The Bulletinart critic, who said, when reviewing her solo exhibition at the Athenaeum Hall in 1930, 'Her counterpoint is so simple in its elements that the intrusion of the slightest false accent would destroy the harmony.'2Therein lies a happy paradox. The stillness which envelops her paintings, allies itself to silence, leitmotifs wherein comes so much of the magic of her art. In painting, as in music, there is harmony, rhythm, and colour. Painting gives you its pleasures in a moment, its realms of silence are unique. The seeming simplicity with which Beckett creates profoundly moving visual statements is disarming. While her subjects are the everyday, her creativity transforms the pedestrian into poetic vision.While Beckett painted many scenes of Melbourne's bayside beaches - Silver Morning (Near Beaumaris), c1931 or Sandringham Beach, c1933 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra) - she found the city of Melbourne rich in subject matter, especially the River Yarra and its bridges. City street scenes include Collins Street, Evening, 1931 (National Gallery of Australia) and Taxi Rank, c1931. The latter, with its lights reflecting on wet roads, is so free and painterly that it might pass for a work of lyric abstraction. As in Evening, St Kilda Road, the illusion of depth is halted either by reflection or string of lights, with paint thin, and sky and ground similar in tone to maintain a flatness of the picture plane. Beckett seeks no illusion of reality, preferring the beauty ofcreativity and its inner harmonies. St Kilda Road and the suburb of St Kilda itself featured often as a sources of inspiration, as in St Kilda Road, Wet Night, and from her 1923 exhibition Sand Pump, Foreshore, St Kildaand Grey Morning, St Kilda. The mellifluous luminosity and handling of tone in Evening, St KildaRoadrecalls the lyricism of Whistler in a nocturne, mellow of poesy, and dreamily romantic.1. Beckett, quoted in R. Hollinrake, Clarice Beckett: Politically Incorrect, Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne, 1999, p. 192. The Bulletin, Sydney, 29 October 1930, p. 33DAVID THOMAS

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Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 RANUNCULI WITH CORAL BEADS, c1924 oil on board

Lot 21: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 RANUNCULI WITH CORAL BEADS, c1924 oil on board

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Description: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 RANUNCULI WITH CORAL BEADS, c1924 oil on board SIGNED signed lower left: C Beckett DIMENSIONS 34.0 x 44.0 cm PROVENANCE Private collectionChristie's, Melbourne, 1 May 2000, lot 115Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Clarice Beckett: Politically Incorrect, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne;SH Ervin Gallery (National Trust of Australia), Sydney;Orange Regional Gallery, New South Wales;Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide;Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria;Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart;Burnie Regional Art Gallery, Tasmania, 5 February 1999 - 22 May 2000, cat. no. 8 (label attached verso) LITERATURE Hollinrake, R., Clarice Beckett, the Artist and her Circle, Macmillan, Melbourne, 1979, p. 53 (illus.)Hollinrake, R., Clarice Beckett: Politically Incorrect, The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1999, cat. 8, p. 75 ESSAY Still life subjects are suited to the art of Clarice Beckett as stillness was so much a part of her creativity. In her lifetime, paintings of flowers were favoured more than landscapes, and their bright colours always caught the eye of the viewer. Asters, carnations, roses, and petunias were the single and group subjects of numerous still life paintings EXHIBITED in the spring and autumn exhibitions of the Victorian Artists' Society in East Melbourne during the twenties. Her first solo exhibition in 1923 featured so many flower paintings that the review in the Sun News-Pictorialwas headed 'Vases and Flowers: Miss Beckett's Art'. 'Nearly 80 paintings by Miss Clarice Beckett were EXHIBITED yesterday at the Athenaeum. There is one portrait; the rest are land or seascapes, and some effective still life studies. Daisies; and Mr Sherlock's Asters, and a Japanese Vase show the artist at her best.'1Ranunculi with Coral Beads, c1924 provided Beckett with the opportunity to paint an ESSAY of glowing colour and light, soft of focus with highlights that sparkle. The translucency of the glass bottle reveals a yellow vase and ranunculi beyond, balanced by the decorated Oriental ceramic vessel to the right. As a mirage of beauty, it is tantalizingly close, yet seemingly as ephemeral as mist. In herMemorial Exhibitionof 1936, held at the Athenaeum, Melbourne, flowers played a significant part, The Wattlebeing a lone native among the camellias and chrysanthemums. Beckett's champion, Rosalind Hollinrake, noted that, 'Unlike her contemporaries Ellis Rowan and Margaret Preston, Beckett did not paint native flowers.'2She acknowledged one exception, the painting title 'Gladioli' EXHIBITED at the Victorian Artists' Society in 1922, to which gum leaves had been added. 'Her attitude to native flora', Hollinrake continued, 'was that the Australian bush was fragile despite its seeming hardiness and that bush flowers should be left where they belong.'3The Wattleshows she made an occasional exception, but natives did not lure her away from the range of colour and form offered by exotics.Of her many works in public collections, Marigolds (Still Life), 1925 in the collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Victoria, is like our painting in being among the best. It was one of the first works by Beckett to enter a public art gallery. Both were included in the retrospective, Clarice Beckett: Politically Incorrect, toured by the Ian Potter Museum of Art, University of Melbourne in 1999-2000. They show that her understanding of beauty was not confined to landscapes. In Ranunculi with Coral Beads,the modulated background provides the perfect setting for a harmony of hues in which the casual gesture of coral beads proclaims her mastery of ravishing colour.1. Sun News-Pictorial, Melbourne, 5 June 1923, p. 92. Hollinrake, R., Clarice Beckett: Politically Incorrect, Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne, 1999, p. 163. Ibid.DAVID THOMAS

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Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 BEAUMARIS oil on canvas

Lot 22: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 BEAUMARIS oil on canvas

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Description: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 BEAUMARIS oil on canvas DIMENSIONS 51.0 x 61.0 cm PROVENANCE Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney (label attached verso)Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (stamped verso)Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Clarice Beckett, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney, 26 June - 21 July 2002 (as 'Three Sisters Rock')

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Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WARM SHALLOWS, c1930 oil on card

Lot 23: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WARM SHALLOWS, c1930 oil on card

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Description: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WARM SHALLOWS, c1930 oil on card SIGNED bears inscription verso: Clarice Beckett - 'DUCKS' c1930 / oil on card / estate of artist's sister DIMENSIONS 21.0 x 25.0 cm PROVENANCE Martin Browne Fine Art, SydneyCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Clarice Beckett, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney, 26 June - 21 July 2002 (label attached verso)

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Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WET EVENING, 1922 oil on board

Lot 24: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WET EVENING, 1922 oil on board

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Description: Clarice Beckett 1887 - 1935 WET EVENING, 1922 oil on board SIGNED signed lower right: C. Beckettsigned and inscribed verso: C. Beckett 22 / Wet Evening /Clarice Beckett / 22 DIMENSIONS 31.0 x 40.5 cm PROVENANCE Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney (label attached verso)Niagara Galleries, Melbourne (stamped verso)Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED Clarice Beckett, Martin Browne Fine Art, Sydney, 26 June - 21 July 2002

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Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 NIOBE, c1919 oil on board

Lot 25: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 NIOBE, c1919 oil on board

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Description: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 NIOBE, c1919 oil on board DIMENSIONS 50.5 x 71.5 cm PROVENANCE Private collection, MelbourneCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney ESSAY Niobe is a powerfully dramatic, unfinished painting ... (that) comes from the best period of his late mythological decorations.The subject of the picture is taken from Greek mythology, showing the killing of Niobe's sons and daughters by Artemis and Apollo. Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus, the mother of seven sons and seven daughters. She boasted of her superiority to the goddess Leto, who had only two children, Artemis and Apollo, fathered by Zeus, King of the Gods. Artemis and Apollo revenged their mother by slaying with their arrows all of Niobe's children.(EXTRACT FROM A LETTER WRITTEN BY DAVID THOMAS AUTHENTICATING AND DESCRIBING THE PAINTING)

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Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 TWO PALM TREES  (MELBOURNE BOTANIC GARDENS) , c1932-33 oil on card

Lot 26: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 TWO PALM TREES (MELBOURNE BOTANIC GARDENS) , c1932-33 oil on card

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Description: Rupert Bunny 1864 - 1947 TWO PALM TREES (MELBOURNE BOTANIC GARDENS) , c1932-33 oil on card DIMENSIONS 28.0 x 24.0 cm PROVENANCE Mrs J.S. Reid, VictoriaPhilip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane (label attached verso)Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney EXHIBITED McClelland Gallery, Victoria, 1973, cat. 43 LITERATURE Thomas, D., Rupert Bunny, Lansdowne Press Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1970, cat. S222

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Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 UNTITLED, c1960 welded steel

Lot 27: Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 UNTITLED, c1960 welded steel

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Description: Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 UNTITLED, c1960 welded steel DIMENSIONS 23.0 cm heigh PROVENANCE Lois Hunter collection, London and SydneyCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney

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Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 HOB NOB, 1992 bronze

Lot 28: Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 HOB NOB, 1992 bronze

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Description: Clement Meadmore 1929 - 2005 HOB NOB, 1992 bronze SIGNED edition: 1/9signed, dated and numbered: Meadmore 1/9 1992 DIMENSIONS 43.0 cm length PROVENANCE Robin Gibson Gallery, SydneyCollection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney RELATED WORKS Hob Nob, 1992, bronze, 132.0 cm length, collection of the artist, illus. in Gibson, E., The Sculpture of Clement Meadmore, Hudson Hills Press, New York, 1994, p. 133Hob Nob, 1992, fabricated 2007, aluminium, 995.0 cm length, collection of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States of America

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Rick Amor born 1948 SAILING TO THE WEST  (EVENING) , 2001 oil on canvas

Lot 29: Rick Amor born 1948 SAILING TO THE WEST (EVENING) , 2001 oil on canvas

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Description: Rick Amor born 1948 SAILING TO THE WEST (EVENING) , 2001 oil on canvas SIGNED signed and dated lower left: RICK AMOR '01dated and inscribed verso: NOV 01 / SAILING TO THE WEST (EVENING) DIMENSIONS 56.0 x 71.5 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney LITERATURE Fry, G., Rick Amor, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2008, p. 122 (illus.) RELATED WORKS Sailing to the West, 1996, oil on panel, 23.0 x 30.0 cm, Deakin University Art Collection, Melbourne, illus. in Fry, G., Rick Amor, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2008, p. 64Study for Sailing to the West, 1996, charcoal, 75.0 x 105.0 cm, illus. in Fry, G., Rick Amor, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2008, p. 123

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Rick Amor born 1948 THE ISLAND, 2003 oil on canvas

Lot 30: Rick Amor born 1948 THE ISLAND, 2003 oil on canvas

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Description: Rick Amor born 1948 THE ISLAND, 2003 oil on canvas SIGNED signed and dated lower right: RICK AMOR 03dated and inscribed verso: The Island AP_ 03 / May DIMENSIONS 146.5 x 128.5 cm PROVENANCE Niagara Galleries, MelbourneCommissioned by Lex Aitken and Alfredo (Bouret) Gonzalez, Sydney

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Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 TREES AND MOUNTAIN, MOONLIGHT, 1957-62 oil, pen and ink on canvas

Lot 31: Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 TREES AND MOUNTAIN, MOONLIGHT, 1957-62 oil, pen and ink on canvas

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Description: Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 TREES AND MOUNTAIN, MOONLIGHT, 1957-62 oil, pen and ink on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: Godfrey Miller DIMENSIONS 47.0 x 61.5 cm PROVENANCE Artarmon Gallery (Artlovers), Sydney (label attached verso, as 'Blue Landscape')R.A. Henderson collection, SydneyJames R. Lawson, Sydney, 15 September 1987, lot 183 (as 'Blue Landscape')Peter Gant Fine Art, Melbourne, 17 May - 14 June 1988, cat. 14Dudley Cain collection, MelbourneHarold and Connie Slater collection, SydneyThence by descentPrivate collection, Sydney EXHIBITED Possibly Godfrey Miller Memorial Exhibition, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney, 16 February - 27 March 1965, cat. 8 (as 'Blue Landscape')Godfrey Miller 1893-1964, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 March - 5 May 1996;National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 15 May - 17 June 1996 (as 'Trees and Mountain, Moonlight') LITERATURE Henshaw, J., (ed.), Godfrey Miller, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney, 1965, pl. 20Art and Australia, vol. 25, no. 3, Autumn 1988, p. 302Edwards, D., Godfrey Miller 1893-1964, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1996, pp. 73, 74, 124, pl. 64 (illus.) ESSAY Looking at Godfrey Miller's paintings recalls those lines from William Blake's Auguries of Innocencewritten in about 1803:To see a world in a grain of sand,And a heaven in a wild flower,Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,And eternity in an hour.A mystic, like Blake, the contemplative Miller explored the unity of the ultimate reality. Through his unique vision, he reduced all things to their essentials, developing an architectonic figuration combining the simplicity of complexity to touch upon the universal. Seen in his choice of subjects - the still life, landscapes, and nudes - forms express the fundamental, dressed deferentially in subdued colours, of cubes evoking the three dimensional, yet flat. They echo his earlier training as an architect, and reveal the creative influences of Paul Klee and Picasso. His work is characterized by an inner serenity as it moves seamlessly between figuration and abstraction.Trees and Mountain, Moonlight, c1957-621is a classic painting concentrating on two of his favoured motifs - trees and mountains. Its monumental presence is achieved through the harmonious balance of verticals and horizontals. The bulk of the mountain is offset by the weight of the framing tree trunks, with angles answering each other. Colour, reduced to modulations of tone, creates the moonlight effect in sight and mood, moving in its silence. Faceted, as in a mosaic, each segment seems to reflect its own light as well as that of the moon. An overall flickering effect is commanded by stillness, as if time has ceased. Equally miraculous, the mountain and trees seem weightless, floating images, as insubstantial and intransient as all things. As ever, Miller is a master of the paradox, providing the viewer with the path on which to tread.Given to painting in series, Miller's Trees and Mountain paintings are not only among his finest, but also make a profound contribution to the genre of Australian landscape painting. Memorable landscapes include Trees in Quarry, 1952-56 (Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Texas, United States of America), Blue Unity, 1954-57 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), and Trees in Moonlight, 1955-57 (Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane). Like Trees and Mountain, Moonlight, c1957-62, their inspiration owes much to Central Australia, which Miller visited in 1940 and continued to visit. In 1954, he wrote to Melbourne art critic Alan McCulloch, 'I was on an excursion ... into Centre of Australia - out from Alice, 350 miles to Ayers Rock, camped 5 nights, and on to Mt Olga. All of which I hope will influence my painting ... It was a strange experience to be in the dark of night, to drink tea in the early dawn, to be in the presence of such size, colour uniqueness.'21. Miller often worked on his paintings over a long period, as the date given indicates2. Letter to Alan McCulloch, 20 September 1954, quoted in Edwards, D., Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1996, p. 70DAVID THOMAS

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Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 APPLES, 1944-46 oil, pen and ink on canvas

Lot 32: Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 APPLES, 1944-46 oil, pen and ink on canvas

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Description: Godfrey Miller 1893 - 1964 APPLES, 1944-46 oil, pen and ink on canvas SIGNED signed with initials lower right: G.C.M.signed by executors on label verso: Lewis Miller, John Henshaw, John Kaplan, 8 July 1965, ref. JH90 DIMENSIONS 50.0 x 40.5 cm PROVENANCE John Brackenreg, SydneyD.R. Sheumack, SydneySotheby's, Melbourne, 25 August 1997, lot 182Private collection, Melbourne EXHIBITED Godfrey Miller Retrospective Exhibition, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 10 June - 17 July 1959, cat. 17 (as 'Flowers')The D.R. Sheumack Collection of Australian Paintings, S.H. Ervin Museum and Art Gallery, Sydney, 17 May - 12 June, 1983, cat. 80Godfrey Miller 1893-1964, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 15 March - 5 May 1996; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 15 May - 17 June 1996 (label attached verso, lent by D.R. Sheumack) LITERATURE Henshaw, J., (ed.), Godfrey Miller, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney, 1965, pl. 69 (as 'Flowers')Christie, R., and Miller, J., (eds), The D.R. Sheumack Collection: Eighty Years of Australian Painting, Sotheby's Australia, Sydney, 1988, cat. 78, pl. 78 (illus.)Edwards, D., Godfrey Miller 1893-1964, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1996, pp. 40, 41, 121, pl. 27 (illus.) ESSAY The objects of Godfrey Miller's still life paintings are various fruits, flowers, and the lute, all, except the latter, things of the everyday. They are found in Still Life, Fruit and Flower (Day and Night), 1957-61 in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, or Still Life with Lute, 1954-56 in Sydney's Art Gallery of New South Wales. In each and more, the commonplace has been transformed into something wondrous in which aesthetic pleasure and contemplation of the universal unite. In the foreword to the memorable book on Miller published in 1965 shortly after the artist's death, Peter Bellew wrote from Paris, 'In his canvases he fought to eliminate the superficial, the irrelevant, the decorative, and to achieve absolute simplicity - basic truth.'1Although the aim was of the highest, the pursuit is fascinating through canvas after canvas in which Miller peals back outer manifestations in search of the inner unity of all things. Apples and oranges were his preferred fruits, being of the circle, the perfect shape, form expressing unity, harmony, the whole, the universe. In each segment of colour, the macrocosm, is found in the microcosm. 'Three oranges on a tablecloth', wrote Laurie Thomas in 1960, 'could be three worlds held by the gravitation of conflicting and compensating forces in perpetual orbits.'2Miller once wrote about, 'how a real artist makes much of a simple still life. How sincerely and with grasp, he holds or puts his thoughts on to things; he does not paint one view. As in poetry, you should run your line backwards. You should run up through the picture, should move horizontally, round, through, across. From inside the oranges, or the glass tumblers or what have you, up and down from light to dark, dark to all lights except one, dark to all light except two, from a perpendicular line to a horizontal line ... Then he knows his picture. Man has to learn to move into things with interest and step.'3The light in his paintings is of enlightenment. The philosophies of the great masters shine out through their still life paintings, even if tucked away in a favoured corner of larger compositions. Jan van Eyck enshrined the beliefs of his age in light passing through a flask of water, the seventeenth-century Dutch provided gourmet feasts, Cézanne the structure of things, and Picasso celebrated Cubism in the objects of Parisian cafe life. While still-lifes held sway in Miller's work of the forties, his entire oeuvre is a still life in the sense of exploration in the timeless.1. 'Foreword', in Henshaw, J., (ed.), Godfrey Miller, Darlinghurst Galleries, Sydney, 19652. Thomas, L., 'Introduction', in Bonython, K., (ed.), Modern Australian Painting and Sculpture. A Survey of Australian Art from 1950-1960, Griffin Press, Adelaide, 1960, p. 63. Henshaw, J., op. cit., re. plate 4DAVID THOMAS

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Charles Meere 1890 - 1961 FRENCH NUDE, c1939 oil on canvas on board

Lot 33: Charles Meere 1890 - 1961 FRENCH NUDE, c1939 oil on canvas on board

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Description: Charles Meere 1890 - 1961 FRENCH NUDE, c1939 oil on canvas on board SIGNED signed upper right: Charles Meereinscribed verso: 18 / French / nude DIMENSIONS 30.5 x 38.0 cm PROVENANCE Private collection, New South WalesPrivate collection, Sydney ESSAY Charles Meere's mastery of the human figure is seen at its athletic best in Australian Beach Pattern, 1940, in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, an icon of beach life and good health. While displaying his considerable creative skills in painting the female nude, French Nude, c1939 strikes a very different note of sensual intimacy. The intimacy of the soft focus is equally suggestive of the private pleasures of the flesh, the positioning of the arms conveying embrace. Yet, it has a detachment that is tantalising, enhanced as much by what is concealed as is revealed. When teaching anatomy and life drawing at the East Sydney Technical College from 1936, Meere '... advocated that both male and female models should be totally undressed'.1This is seen in the striking realism of The Young Model, 1941 (Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne, 20 April 2011, lot 42). Writing in 1949, his friend and fellow artist, Herbert Badham, said of Meere's art: 'He does not make actual transcripts from nature, nor does he depend on obvious emotional urges to express himself; rather does he take physical truths for his themes, reconstructing them to reveal afresh their basic form and structure.'2While this applies to much of Meere's art, French Nudedispenses with the objectivity that characterises his art for the more personally felt - the private moment as distinct from the public presentation.During World War I Meere served with the London Regiment. In 1919 he married Denise Moreau, whom he had met when hospitalised in France. Studying design and mural painting at the Royal College of Art, London from 1919-22, he later painted in France and furthered his studies at Colarossis, Paris. Their son Desmond was born in 1920, the family eventually settling in Dinan, Brittany, one of the most attractive walled towns in France. It inspired a number of grand landscapes as The Viaduct, France, 1924 and Dinan, 1926, shown in the 1987 exhibition of Meere's work presented by the S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney. Meere is also represented in the Musée du Chateau de Dinan. In 1927 Meere visited Australia, before settling here in 1933. He was awarded the Sulman Prize in 1938 and the Wynne Prize in 1951. During the forties he painted several Dinan landscapes, Dinan sur la Rance, 1941 and Au fond du viaduct à Dinan, c1944 also being included in the S.H. Ervin exhibition of 1987. French Nude, c1939 was probably painted during this period. While Meere's reflections on France were possibly aroused by German occupation during World War II, the diaphanous nature of French Nudeis redolent of recollection, dreaming of what once was.1. Harvey, E. A., quoted in Slutzkin, L., Charles Meere 1890-1961, S.H. Irvin Gallery, Sydney, 1987, p. 42. Badham, H., The Story of Australian Art, Currawong Publishing Co. Pty. Ltd., Sydney, 1949, p. 135DAVID THOMAS

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Justin O'brien 1917 - 1996 THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT, c1958  (also known as MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES)  oil over gold leaf on paper on hardboard

Lot 34: Justin O'brien 1917 - 1996 THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT, c1958 (also known as MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES) oil over gold leaf on paper on hardboard

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Description: Justin O'brien 1917 - 1996 THE MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT, c1958 (also known as MIRACULOUS DRAUGHT OF FISHES) oil over gold leaf on paper on hardboard SIGNED signed upper right of right panel: O'BRIEN DIMENSIONS triptych: 41.5 x 47.5 cm overall PROVENANCE Commissioned by Geoffrey Ellsworth from the artist, c1958Macquarie Galleries, Sydney (label attached verso)Philip Bacon Galleries, BrisbanePrivate collection, Brisbane EXHIBITED Waratah Spring Festival, Sydney, 4-11 October 1958, no. 29 (as 'The Immaculate [sic] Draught', from the private collection of Mr Geoffrey Ellsworth)Justin O'Brien, Philip Bacon Galleries, Brisbane, 3-28 October 2006, no. 12Justin O'Brien: The Sacred Music of Colour, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 December 2010 - 27 February 2011, cat. 44 LITERATURE Bradley, A., The Art of Justin O'Brien, The Craftsman's Press, Sydney, 1982, fig. 29, pp. 26, 96, 106 (illus. p. 96)Pearce B., and Wilson, N., Justin O'Brien: The Sacred Music of Colour, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2010, pp. 76, 77, 84-85, 158 (illus. pp. 84-85) RELATED WORKS Miraculous Draught of the Fishes, c1958, watercolour, pen and ink, 39.8 x 47.4 cm overall, collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ESSAY The subject of the miraculous draught of fishes has long attracted artists from Medieval times through to the present. Works by Duccio, Raphael and Rubens are among the very memorable, together with that fascinating version painted by the fifteenth-century Swabian artist, Konrad Witz. These Gospel stories so appealed to Justin O'Brien that in 1978 he devoted half an exhibition to them.1The Christian Gospels give us two stories of such miracles, the first relating to the calling of Saints Peter, James and John. The second comes after Christ's resurrection. O'Brien painted both versions. In our painting, Christ is shown tall, standing in the boat as his disciples haul in their miraculous catch. In the left panel, two apostles stand by the shore, one gesturing to the extraordinary event taking place. The disciples become 'fishers of men', the boat an ancient symbol of the Christian Church, as over all towers the hieratic figure of Christ, clad in the red of majesty.2The right hand panel has the curiosity of two devils on the other shore, introducing a touch of the Last Judgment through O'Brien's creative imagination. In paintings of the Last Judgment, it was traditional to place the damned on Christ's left.When O'Brien was awarded the inaugural Blake Prize for Religious Art in Sydney in 1951, he was formally recognized as one of Australia's leading religious painters. The prizewinning painting, The Virgin Enthroned, 1951, was acquired through the Felton Bequest by the National Gallery of Victoria, being greatly admired for its 'Byzantine' riches of colour and form.3O'Brien had adopted the triptych, as in our painting, that three-panel format traditionally associated with religious art. The Miraculous Draught, c1958 with its gold leaf background shows the then creative influence on O'Brien of the painter, Duccio, whose work he had admired in Siena during earlier travels. 'It was in Siena', O'Brien said, 'where I first really had a proper aesthetic experience, the first time I really felt design and colours.'4While Duccio and the art of his contemporaries derived from Byzantium, it was a time of restless change in Italy as Renaissance ideas began to break through the bonds of the later Middle Ages. O'Brien seized upon its liveliness and handling of space, engaging gilded surfaces to provide the perfect foil for his expressive feeling for line and sumptuous sense of colour. To The Miraculous Draughthe added an idiosyncratic air of fantasy derived from religious mystery. In this and other works, O'Brien thereby brought the potency of the icon, the holy image, into the new world of contemporary art, full of aesthetic delights.1. Macquarie Galleries, Sydney, 20 September - 9 October 19782. Matthew 4:193. In 1952 the Art Gallery of New South Wales purchased O'Brien's painting, The Last Supperfollowed by Supper atEmmausin 1953.4. Justin O'Brien, quoted in France, C., Justin O'Brien: Image and Icon, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1997, p. 17DAVID THOMAS

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Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STORAGE TANK, 1975 oil on canvas-board

Lot 35: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STORAGE TANK, 1975 oil on canvas-board

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Description: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 STORAGE TANK, 1975 oil on canvas-board SIGNED signed upper right: JEFFREY SMART DIMENSIONS 30.0 x 40.0 cm PROVENANCE South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne (label attached verso)Private collection, MelbourneSotheby's, Melbourne, 2 May 2000, lot 80Private collection, Sydney EXHIBITED Jeffrey Smart, South Yarra Gallery, Melbourne, 15 August 1975, cat. 13 LITERATURE Quartermaine, P., Jeffrey Smart, Gryphon Books Pty Ltd, Melbourne, 1983, cat. 648 ESSAY From the very beginning, Jeffery Smart's work revealed an eye for the unusual found in the everyday. This could not be more apparent than in Storage Tank, 1975 where the prosaic has been transformed into a visual essay of tantalizing appeal, cheeky, with touches of the poetic and the terrifying. If notions of science fiction intrigue, then the curious imagery and latticework clouds will fascinate. And 'PEPSI', with its Ying and Yang logo, adds to the visual wit, so characteristic of Smart's art. He once said, 'The truth is I put figures in mainly for scale, the way Corbusier always drew a figure beside his buildings'.1He then made the cautionary addition, 'You have to be very careful because as soon as you put a figure in a painting the viewer's eye goes straight to it, like a magnet'. It certainly does so in Storage Tank, even if it is not 'too interesting ... never beautiful or sexy'. The purpose of scale is unquestioned, but what could be more miniscule than the figure on the apartment balcony, and why? Scale is only part of the tale. While Smart readily explained the mechanics of his paintings, he inferred or disguised his ideas, their meaning or narrative in multiple ways.The storage tank is bloated and bulbous in proportion. Allied to the PEPSI logo, it dominates the human being almost to the extent of extinction. Does cola rule the world? While the line of apartments to the right acts as a compositional wall to contain the recession, even they are small fry against the tank. Its tremendous presence, in turn looking like a submarine landed in our midst, raises other notions of being submerged - by consumerism, in soft drink? Smart espoused his creed in the words, 'The subject matter is only the hinge that opens the door, the hook on which one hangs the coat. My only concern is putting the right shapes in the right colours in the right places.'2'It is' he added,' always the geometry'. That is but half the story, for shapes and colours and right places tell tales, as they do so well in Storage Tank. Smart's compositions offer brilliant essays in balance, disturbing dominance notwithstanding. Intentionally, he made the tank so big that it sits uncomfortably within the composition. As seen, so felt.1. Capon, E., et al., Jeffrey Smart Retrospective, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1999, p. 922. Quoted in McGrath, S., 'Jeffrey Smart', Art and Australia, vol. 7, no. 1, June 1969, p. 34DAVID THOMAS

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Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 THE PARK, 1960 oil on plywood

Lot 36: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 THE PARK, 1960 oil on plywood

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Description: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 THE PARK, 1960 oil on plywood SIGNED signed lower left: JEFFREY SMARTsigned and inscribed verso: MC.CAUGHEY PRIZE / "PARK" 75gns / Jeffrey Smart DIMENSIONS 59.0 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE A.G.B. Burney, LondonPrivate collection, MelbourneSotheby's, Melbourne, 27 August 2007, lot 10Private collection, Sydney EXHIBITED Recent Australian Painting, 1961, Whitechapel Gallery,London, June - July 1961, cat. 100 (label attached verso, as cat. 38) LITERATURE Robertson, B., (ed.), Recent Australian Painting, 1961,The Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1961, p. 28Allen, C., Jeffrey Smart, Unpublished Paintings,Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 2008, p. 95 (illus.) ESSAY Jeffrey Smart's paintings have an abiding theatrical or cinematic quality about them. Objects are spotlit, as in The Park, 1960, and figures move over crests of hills into the unknown, offstage. The singular pictorial statements of newspaper, park bench, rubbish bin and building in The Parkincreases visual tension and adds to the atmosphere of expectancy akin to that in a film by Alfred Hitchcock. Aided by the glare of the foreground light cast from outside the picture against the darkened sky, the heightened reality creates a Surreal sense of the unreal, crafted with a mastery of composition and colour to entice the viewer. Smart plays with perspective from multi-viewpoints in a painting rich in visual irony. Form echoes form, and colour repeats colour - the curve of the umbrella found in the hoops of the basketball frames and drinking fountain, and the umbrella's pink recited in the post and bench. Many of the elements are familiar from earlier works such as Approaching Storm by Railway, 1955 with its objects of isolation, and ever-dramatic interplay of light and dark. In The Parkand other works, the captured moment is suspended in stillness, expectant with anticipation. What will transpire remains unanswered. Some years later Smart wrote, 'As a young man I used to deplore the restrictions of painting - how to express "cosmic ecstasy" as in Mahler's 2nd, Beethoven's 9th. [T.S.] Eliot reminded me, pointed the way to accepting that we painters can express "the still moment" ...'.1Painted in Sydney a few years before Smart left to settle in Italy, parks had provided his fertile imagination with many subjects of interest. His 1961 solo exhibition at the Macquarie Galleries included Beare Parkand Trumper Park. Cooper Park, 1962 and The Park, 1963 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra) followed. Then, from Italy, came The Listeners, 1965 (Art Gallery of Ballarat, Victoria), featuring that pregnant swell seen in the green foreground of our painting.The Park is a significant painting in Smart's oeuvre, being one of two works by the artist included in the major London exhibition, Recent Australian Painting, 1961, held at the Whitechapel Gallery. A milestone in the international recognition of Australian art, the other painting was The Stilt Race, 1960 in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. This was followed by the exhibition, Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary, with Cooper Parkbeing one of three paintings chosen to represent Smart in the official survey shown at the Tate Gallery, London, and the National Gallery in Ottawa.1. Quoted in Pearce, B., Jeffrey Smart, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2005, p. 193DAVID THOMAS

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Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 SINOPIA FOR THE OBSERVER, 1983 oil and synthetic polymer paint on paper on canvas

Lot 37: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 SINOPIA FOR THE OBSERVER, 1983 oil and synthetic polymer paint on paper on canvas

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Description: Jeffrey Smart 1921 - 2013 SINOPIA FOR THE OBSERVER, 1983 oil and synthetic polymer paint on paper on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: JEFFREY SMART DIMENSIONS 101.0 x 145.0 cm PROVENANCE Australian Galleries, Sydney (label attached verso)Private collection, SydneyDeutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 9 May 2001, lot 15Private collection, Sydney LITERATURE McDonald, J., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, pp. 32-33Smart, J., et al., Jeffrey Smart Drawings and Studies 1942-2001, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 2001, pp. 120-121 RELATED WORKS The Observer I, 1983, synthetic polymer paint and oil on fibreglass canvas, 100.0 x 144.0 cm, and Study for The Observer I, 1983, synthetic polymer paint and oil on fibreglass canvas, 30.0 x 44.0 cm, were EXHIBITED in Jeffrey Smart: Recent Paintings, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 22 March - 9 April 1983, cat. 4 (cover illustration) and 17 respectivelyThe Observer II, 1983-84, synthetic polymer paint and oil on canvas, 100.0 x 70.0 cm, private collection, illus. in Pearce, B., Jeffrey Smart, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2005, p. 176 ESSAY 'I don't want to paint my personal scream - I prefer to stay detached ...'1Sinopia for The Observer, 1983 is a rare and special work in Jeffrey Smart's oeuvre. He kept it for a long time in his personal collection. As the primary painting for his several versions of 'The Observer', the addition of the word 'sinopia' to the title suggests that Smart saw it as a fully developed work in its own right, but with a special purpose. From Roman to Renaissance times, the term 'sinopia' in fresco painting referred to the full-scale red under-drawing on the penultimate layer of plaster, usually of striking spontaneity and freedom in its difference from the final painting. Freedom of execution and spontaneity are exactly what characterise Smart's Sinopia for The Observer. The later The Observer I, 1983 is more finished in appearance. Almost identical in size, it too has the figure to the left of the loudspeaker. Observer II, 1983-84 is smaller in size, the figure now on the right, with an enlarged all-seeing eye in one of the lenses of the binoculars.They were painted leading up to and during 1984, each troubling in its own special way, arousing thoughts of George Orwell's book, Nineteen Eighty-Fourand the constant reminder that 'Big Brother is watching you'.2The spying binoculars and attendant loudspeaker of broadcast dictation is so pertinent to our times of surveillance and intrusion. As John McDonald observed, 'Even if we discard such implications, the man's binoculars and his proximity to the public address system put him implicitly in a position of power over those whom we assume he is observing.'3Smart was ever the master of the enigmatic, so a different, though not unallied interpretation of this work is allowable. It could be seen simply as a caller at a racetrack; but that is too straight-forward and lacking the drama of one who observed the human race rather than that of horses. Given the vague resemblance to Smart, it is more likely to be the artist himself, the anonymous observer.Viewing the world at arm's length from an elevated position, the loud speaker is not only an actual means of communication but also a metaphor of his painting. Jeffrey Smart was a classicist in contemporary guise. In the Renaissance and other times artists often appeared in their own pictures attired in the styles and within the settings of their age, as one recalls Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece, The Art of Paintingin Vienna.4Smart once wrote, 'I don't want to be a Dufy, I want to be a Vermeer.'5Ever balancing detachment with the paradox of involvement, Smart wore the mask of personality in his art more than in his person.6Disguise was his forte as he soliloquized on the stage of his paintings. Vale Jeffrey!1. Smart, J., et al., Jeffrey Smart Drawings and Studies 1942-2001, Australian Galleries, Melbourne, 2001, p. 1212. Orwell, G., Nineteen Eighty-Four, Secker and Warburg, London, 1949, part 1, chapter 13. McDonald, J., Jeffrey Smart: Paintings of the '70s and '80s, Craftsman House, Sydney, 1990, p. 334. Johannes Vermeer van Delft (1632-75, The Netherlands), Die Malkunst (The Art of Painting), c1666-68, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna5. Quoted in Pearce, B., Jeffrey Smart, Beagle Press, Sydney, 2005, p. 1896. The word 'persona' in Latin means mask, derived from a theatrical mask and the character played by an actor.DAVID THOMAS

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Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 GUM TREES IN A LANDSCAPE IV, 1969 oil on canvas

Lot 38: Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 GUM TREES IN A LANDSCAPE IV, 1969 oil on canvas

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Description: Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 GUM TREES IN A LANDSCAPE IV, 1969 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: Fred Williams DIMENSIONS 122.0 x 91.0 cm PROVENANCE The estate of the artist, MelbourneLyn Williams collection, Melbourne (cat. LW80, label attached verso)Rex Irwin Art Dealer, SydneyPrivate collection, SydneyPrivate collection, Sydney EXHIBITED Fred Williams - A Retrospective, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 31 October 1987 - 31 January 1988;National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 17 February - 3 April 1988;Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart, 18 April - 22 May 1988;Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 13 June - 24 July 1988;Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 16 August - 30 October 1988;Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, 24 November 1988 - 30 January 1989;Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin, 29 April - 4 June 1989;Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 9 August - 24 September 1989, cat. 119Fred Williams, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, Sydney, 16 May - 10 June, 2006, cat. 5 (label attached verso)Melbourne Art Fair, Rex Irwin Art Dealer, 1-5 August 2012 (label attached verso) LITERATURE Mollison, J., A Singular Vision: The Art of Fred Williams, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1989, p. 101 (illus.) ESSAY When reviewing Fred Williams's exhibition of November 1969 at Rudy Komon's Gallery in Sydney, James Gleeson wrote, 'In these marvelous paintings Williams proves himself to be the most subtle and penetrating of all our Australian landscape painters.'1Gleeson, as we all do, wrestled with the paradox that lies at the heart of Williams's art - the seeming simplicity versus the creative complexity, the landscape of monotony and the beauty of its detail. Gleeson continued, 'His theme is the characterlessness of the Australian scrub.' And concluded, 'Only in the individual details can the discerning and sensitive eye discover unexpected beauties.' Mastery of the marvellous, of the complexity and singularity of the Australian bush, realized in high art, requires a simplicity of statement. Therein lay Williams's genius.A Gum Trees in Landscapewas among the fifteen works in the 1969 exhibition, its square format different from our Gum Trees in Landscape a IVin which the vertical composition distinguishes the whole series. Sky and land are subtle fields of colour, across which strokes of paint and their marks add expressive touches - of flat hues decked with expressive whorls of textured paint. The abstract nature of the painting is profound, Williams acknowledging the international (read USA) movements of the time, while firmly fixing his approach in the traditions of Australian art. The landscape is Australia, nowhere else, and as in our various landscapes, close scrutiny is required to discover its beauties. Here, the paradox lies between the vast and the intimate. Moreover, the interplay between the verticals of the tree trunks and the balance of the horizon's horizontal are conceived according to the classical formula, echoing perfection. Williams's friend, the astute scholar James Mollison, wrote about the companion painting Gum Trees in Landscape III, 1969 as having 'been reduced to a few elements, again owing more to the artist's printmaking than to any visual source'.2He continued - 'The landscape, reduced to a few ragged patches and lines, is impersonal and austere. The discipline and restraint suggested in this painting is seen at its most extreme, however, in Gum trees in landscape IV, also of 1969, in which the artist's marks are only just sufficient to suggest landscape.' Austerity can also be read as understatement, the classic understatement that allows the inventive mind to explore on its own terms the ideas touched upon by the artist. Flatness becomes an illusion of depth, like a mirage seen but never reached, objects floating yet fixed. It is in these interchanges, in the harmony between the contrasts of abstraction and landscape figuration within the traditions of Australian art, and sustained by its overall classicism, that the wonderment and beauty of this work lies.1. Gleeson, J., 'The Williams Paradox', Sun, Sydney, 5 November 19692. Mollison, J., A Singular Vision: The Art of Fred Williams, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1989, p. 101DAVID THOMAS

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Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 YOU YANGS, 1966 gouache on paper

Lot 39: Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 YOU YANGS, 1966 gouache on paper

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Description: Fred Williams 1927 - 1982 YOU YANGS, 1966 gouache on paper SIGNED signed lower right: Fred Williams DIMENSIONS 72.0 x 56.0 cm PROVENANCE Private Collection, MelbourneBonhams & Goodman, Melbourne, 7 August 2007, lot 60Private Collection, Melbourne ESSAY 'It is perfectly true, it is monotonous... There is no focal point, and obviously it was too good a thing for me to pass up... the fact [that] if there's going to be no focal point in a landscape [then] it had to [be built ] into the paint... I'm basically an artist who see things in terms of paint.'1Fred Williams's passion for the Australian landscape was reignited upon his return to Australia in 1956, after spending five years abroad. The You Yangs series of the sixties was ground breaking in its form, as Patrick McCaughey explains, 'They opened up his art, breaking down the monumental image and effect of the Forest paintings and working towards a new fluidity. Where the Forest paintings had been dense - the motif seen in close-up - the You Yangs paintings were broad and extensive, not immediately grand and imposing, but moving towards a more impersonal and abstract order.'2The You Yangs are a range of granite hills surrounded by a volcanic plain, approximately fifty-five kilometres south west of Melbourne. Attracted to the sheer scale of the area, Williams emphasised the landscape by diminishing the presence of the sky. In this and the overlapping mid-1960s Upwey series the challenge for Williams was to find 'form in a seemingly featureless landscape and to transform the more familiar landscape motifs into a new pictorial experience'.3Animating the surface with dabs and lines that lead the eye across the painting, Williams treated the entire landscape with equal fervour, not just focusing on the trees and the boulders that flecked the granite hills.1. Williams, quoted in Mollison, J., A Singular Vision: The Art of Fred Williams, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, 1989, p. 352. McCaughey, P., Fred Williams, Bay Books, Sydney, 1980, p. 1543. Ibid., p. 153CASSI YOUNG

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Charles Blackman born 1928 TWO SCHOOLGIRLS, 1953 oil on board

Lot 40: Charles Blackman born 1928 TWO SCHOOLGIRLS, 1953 oil on board

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Description: Charles Blackman born 1928 TWO SCHOOLGIRLS, 1953 oil on board SIGNED signed and dated lower right: 3 July 1953 Blackman DIMENSIONS 63.5 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE Private collectionSavill Galleries, Sydney (label attached verso)Private collection, Sydney ESSAY Charles Blackman's acclaimed schoolgirl series of paintings and drawings had its public debut in Melbourne in 1953, the same year in which Two Schoolgirls was painted. EXHIBITED at the Peter Bray Gallery, it was Blackman's first solo show, the source of Blackman's inspiration, Shaw Neilson's lines from Schoolgirls Hastening, appearing in the catalogue:Fear it has faded in the night.The bells all peal the hour of nine.Schoolgirls hastening through the lightTouch the unknowable divine.Since those many years ago, these young faces have found a place among the iconic works of Australian art. Celebrated, they are legendary for their understanding of children through Blackman's ability to enter their minds and imagination, then paint what he sees. For he sees the world through the eyes of a child, and feels her fears, especially isolation and loneliness, so movingly expressed in Two Schoolgirls. They are alone in an environment that threatens through its darkness, empty of protection, yet full of the unknown. Even the two buildings project rejection by their angularity, closed to their needs. They embrace for protection and mutual support, their inner fears stamped in face and profile. The emptiness of the streets is palpable, voluminous of atmosphere in which stalk the latch-key kids' ongoing nightmares. Yet, there is a lyricism in the colours, which tell of happier dreams, of blue as a sanctuary, the colour long associated with goodness and the maternal. It is through these means of form and colour that Blackman gives visibility to emotions and re-introduces the viewer to his or her childhood with an innocence that is disarmingly irresistible.Blackman's schoolgirl paintings are so telling because he drew deeply on personal experience for their creation. 'The Schoolgirl pictures had a lot to do with fear, I think. A lot to do with my isolation as a person and my quite paranoid fears of loneliness and stuff like that; and indeed you could almost say why I painted them.'1From the beginning, the schoolgirl paintings and drawings were recognised by the perceptive as something special. Art critic for the Melbourne Herald, Alan McCulloch, acknowledged their 'undeniable power and artistry'. 'In Blackman's hands', he continued with presience, 'Neilson's schoolgirl becomes a creature of endless aesthetic possibilities.'2And so it proved to be, as seen in this and other paintings - Prone Figure, 1953 (Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne), Floating Schoolgirl, 1954 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), and The Cigarette Shop (Running Home), 1954 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne).1. Blackman, quoted in Shapcott, T., The Art of Charles Blackman, Andre Deutsch Ltd, London, 1989, p. 112. McCulloch, A., 'Quantity - and Quality', Herald, Melbourne, 12 May 1953, p. 10DAVID THOMAS

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Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 STURT ON THE RIVER BANK, 1948 Ripolin enamel on composition board

Lot 41: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 STURT ON THE RIVER BANK, 1948 Ripolin enamel on composition board

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Description: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 STURT ON THE RIVER BANK, 1948 Ripolin enamel on composition board SIGNED signed with initial and dated lower right: 15-4-48 / Nbears inscription verso: LORD McALPINE'S / PERSONAL COLLECTION DIMENSIONS 91.0 x 60.5 cm PROVENANCE Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, MelbourneLord McAlpine of West Green, United Kingdom, November 1986Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, a gift from the above in 1995 (label attached verso)Sotheby's, Sydney, 26 November 2007, lot 28Private collection, Perth LITERATURE Morse, J., 'The Short Sighted Explorer', Link, April 1999, pp. 16-17 ESSAY The Ned Kelly in Sidney Nolan came from his Irish descent. He also had the urge of explorers in his genes - paintings of Central Australia, Africa and the Antarctic all witness his wunderlust, seeking the earth's wonders to paint. Identification with explorers came early in his art, both in his explorative approach and in subject. From the epic Ned Kelly series of 1946-47, Nolan turned to that of Burke and Wills, his Sturt on the RiverBank, 1948 being painted as a prologue in which the artist identifies his own actions with those of another great Australian explorer. When Nolan sold the painting in the 1980s he said it was the first he had painted after he had fled Heide for Sydney and the north. The figure was based on Nolan himself. The scene is believed to be on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River, Nolan's Rubicon that he is about to cross into a new land and life. It was later that the painting acquired the Sturt identification, both meanings being plausible within the interweaving, touched with a little mythologizing.The figure towers over the landscape, the trees at his feet as mere twigs, distance giving the farm its own smallness of scale. The landscape is vast, the river endless, with the artist-explorer depicted as its conqueror. Charles Sturt was a leading figure in Australian inland exploration, searching the rivers in their westward flow, looking for the fabled inland sea. The journey down the Murrumbidgee in 1829 led to the mighty River Murray, its junction with the Darling and on to Lake Alexandrina, reached in the summer heat of 1830. Rowing against the current on the return journey was an epic of endurance in itself. In the allied subject of a self-portrait, the artist is also seen as hero. Cutting himself off from his Melbourne associations, he ventured forth in search of new lands to paint. The river theme continued in On the Murray, 1948 (University of Western Australia, Perth), accompanied by other brilliant paintings from 1948 such as Little Dog Mine, 1948 (once in the collection of Kenneth Lord Clark and now the Holmes à Court Collection, Perth), and PrettyPolly Mine(Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney). The moon-like landscapes of the centre beckoned as Nolan painted Central Australia, 1949 (once in Camille Gheysens's collection), and Inland Australia, 1950 (Tate Gallery, London). The mythic Sturt-Nolan figure strides the land. The nomadic existence to follow filled his imagination and flowed into his paintings, introducing Australian and international audiences to the extraordinary, unique beauty that is our country.DAVID THOMAS

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Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 A ROAD TO THE KURRAJONG, c1896 (also known as SUMMER HEAT)  oil on wood panel

Lot 42: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 A ROAD TO THE KURRAJONG, c1896 (also known as SUMMER HEAT) oil on wood panel

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Description: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 A ROAD TO THE KURRAJONG, c1896 (also known as SUMMER HEAT) oil on wood panel SIGNED signed lower left: STREETONbears inscription verso: mechanically reproduced pattern of a toy clock holder with words 'Urhhalter. / No13.' DIMENSIONS 31.0 x 21.0 cm PROVENANCE William Beckwith McInnes, MelbourneViolet McInnes, MelbournePrivate collection, MelbourneJoel's, Melbourne, 4 November 1981, lot 840 (as 'Summer Heat')Private collectionSotheby's, Melbourne, April 1996, lot 63 (as 'A Road to the Kurrajong')Savill Galleries, Sydney, 1996Private collection, SydneySavill Galleries, Sydney, 2007 (label attached verso)Private collection, Perth EXHIBITED Streeton's Sydney Sunshine Exhibition,88 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, 30 November 1896, cat. 26 (as 'A Road to the Kurrajong')Australian Paintings: Traditional, Modern and Contemporary, Savill Galleries, Sydney, 16 August - 23 September 2006;Savill Galleries, Melbourne, 13 August - 17 September 2006 (as 'Summer Heat', 1896) LITERATURE The Sun, Melbourne, 11 December 1896, p. 14Streeton, A., The Arthur Streeton Catalogue, self published, Melbourne, 1935, cat. 177 (as 'Road to Kurrajong')McCulloch, S., 'Sale of works offer rare frame of reference', The Australian, 18 April 1996 ESSAY '...Mr. Streeton has been dowered with most wonderful artistic gifts,...'1In late November of 1896, Arthur Streeton held an exhibition in Melbourne to which he gave the title 'Streeton's Sydney Sunshine Exhibition'. He hoped that the sales andassociated art union would finance his proposed trip to Europe 'for purposes of study'.2It included many of his masterpieces to date such as The Selector's Hut: Whelan on the Log, 1890 now in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and The Railway Station, Redfern, 1893 in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney. The trustees of the latter institution generously lent Streeton works already in their collection - 'Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide', 1890; Fire's On, 1891; Cremorne Pastoral, 1895; and the watercolour Surveyor's Camp, 1896. In Melbourne, the trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria purchased 'The purple noon's transparent might', 1896 from the exhibition. The list of impressive exhibits rolls on with another Hawkesbury panorama, The River, 1896 (now in the National Gallery of Victoria with a very prestigious provenance); and Sunlight: Cutting on a Hot Road, 1895, in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra. This latter painting was originally purchased from the 1896 exhibition by Dr Felix Myer of Melbourne, the painting bequeathed to the National Gallery of Australia in 1975 by his widow Mary Meyer in his memory. A Road to the Kurrajong, c1896, sometimes known as Summer Heat, has an honoured place in this august company. Its quality was remarked on at the time of the exhibition, the reviewer for the Melbourne Suncommenting, 'A small picture, "A Road to the Kurrajong," literally blazes with colour, sunshine on red and yellow soil, and its neighbour, "The Path to Podge Newton's," up a steep hill to a wooden hut, does the same.'3Both brilliant in their handling, they convey the immediacy of the artist's responses to the scenes, full of vivacity and enjoyment of what he is doing. They were characteristic of the whole exhibition, which the Australasiannoted was largely of New South Wales subjects, 'vivid transcripts of Australian landscape seen beneath the fierce glare of noonday summer sun. The stifling heat, painful stillness, clear-cut transparent purple shadows, and high lights almost blinding in their brilliancy, are given by the artist with a vivid realism so characteristic of purely Australian landscape.'4In A Road to the Kurrajong, c1896 Streeton presented the haze of summer heat in a series of dancing brush strokes and opaque and transparent colours that throb with the moment depicted. The imagery of road and sky, lone figure, gum, and collection of buildings is devoted to portraying the subject - atmosphere - the illusion seeming to rival reality.1. The Sun, Melbourne, 11 December 18962. Sun, The Society Courier, 11 December 1896, p. 143. Ibid. The Path to Podge Newton'swas previously in the collection of ICI Australia4. Australasian, Melbourne, 12 December 1896, p. 1177DAVID THOMAS

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Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 PRINCES BRIDGE, 1910 oil on canvas-board

Lot 43: Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 PRINCES BRIDGE, 1910 oil on canvas-board

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Description: Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 PRINCES BRIDGE, 1910 oil on canvas-board SIGNED signed and dated lower right: F McCubbin / 1910 DIMENSIONS 25.0 x 35.0 cm PROVENANCE W. R. Sedon, Melbourne (label attached verso, as 'Swanston St from Princes Bridge', 1910)Private collection, MelbourneDeutscher Fine Art, MelbourneTrevor Bussell, Sydney (label attached verso)Sotheby's, Melbourne, 19 August 1996, lot 140Private collection, Melbourne EXHIBITED Frederick McCubbin exhibition to mark the centenary of the artist's birth in 1855, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 4 November - 31 December 1955, cat. 34 (label attached verso, lent by W.R. Sedon Esq.)Australian Colonial and Impressionist Paintings, Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne, 22 March - 9 April 1982, cat. 31 (illus. in exhibition catalogue)McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907-1917, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 14 August - 1 November 2009;Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, 12 December 2009 - 28 March 2010;Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria, 24 April - 25 July 2010 (label attached verso) LITERATURE Gray, A., McCubbin: Last Impressions 1907-1917, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2009, cat. 30 (illus. p. 99 and frontispiece) RELATED WORKS Frederick McCubbin sketchbooks, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne ESSAY Of all the Australian Impressionist artists, Frederick McCubbin is one of those most admired. The freedom and spontaneity of his technique in latter years is the closest to French Impressionism of any of his contemporaries; and his subjects have long had an appeal that distinguishes him as a master of Australian art. The early years were devoted to the toils and tribulations of the pioneers, as in Down on His Luck, 1889 (Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth), and The Pioneer, 1904 (Felton Bequest, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne) enshrined in the format of a triptych reserved for pictures of a religious nature. It is well known that his trip to England and the Continent in 1907 transformed his art through the creative influence of the British artist he long admired, J.M.W. Turner. His technique became freer, adopting a sparkling rainbow palette to capture the atmosphere of the shaded bush he so loved and the many moments of his home city of Melbourne. Princes Bridge, 1910 is a superb example of the latter.McCubbin was born within the city where he grew up and later worked as Drawing Master at the National Gallery School. Throughout his life his approach to its streets and buildings was one of familiarity, as seen in such works as Falls Bridge, Melbourne, 1882, and Melbourne in 1888, 1888, (both in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria). In 1901 he sketched in oil Triumphal Arch at Princes Bridge, Melbourne(National Gallery of Australia, Canberra), the bridge resplendent to celebrate the opening of Australia's first Federal Parliament by the Duke of York. Following McCubbin's return from England, he translated his plein airsketch into a painting of Turnerian magnificence, Arrival of the Dukeand Duchess of York, Melbourne, 1901, 1908 (National Gallery of Victoria), a precursor to our own painting. McCubbin began painting his later city views in about 1906, SwanstonStreet, 1906 being similar in view to our painting, seen from the left side of the bridge. Another, Princes Bridge, 1906, shows bridge and buildings from the south side of the Yarra River.1In Princes Bridge, 1910, McCubbin returned to his 1906 view, now showing the newly completed dome of Flinders Street Station, the nearby St Paul's Cathedral yet to have its Gothic spires. Bravura and freedom of the palette knife combine in the dance of light and colour across the picture surface expressing the bustle of late afternoon city life. The atmosphere appealed so much that he painted other similar sized and styled works - Flinders Street, Early Morningand Flinders Street Railway Station, c1910-12, and two version of Collins Street, c1915 in which colour and light again are paramount.21. For Swanston Street, 1906, see MacDonald, J., The Art of Frederick McCubbin, Lothian Book Publishing, Melbourne, 1916, pl., xxviii. Princess Bridge, 1906 was originally purchased by The Melbourne Heraldfrom Sedon Galleries2. Private collections, Geelong Art Gallery and National Gallery of Victoria respectivelyDAVID THOMAS

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Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 THE CAMPFIRE, MOUNT MACEDON, c1908-10 oil on canvas-board

Lot 44: Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 THE CAMPFIRE, MOUNT MACEDON, c1908-10 oil on canvas-board

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Description: Frederick Mccubbin 1855 - 1917 THE CAMPFIRE, MOUNT MACEDON, c1908-10 oil on canvas-board SIGNED signed lower right: F McCubbin DIMENSIONS 25.5 x 35.0 cm PROVENANCE Kozminsky Galleries, Melbourne (label attached verso)Private collection, MelbourneSotheby's, Melbourne, 19 August 1996, lot 210Private collection, Melbourne ESSAY 'The feeling of closing day, approaching night and rest, the billy fire, and the smoke ascending from the burning gum branches typify so much of life along Victorian roads. It is thoroughly Australian.'1Campfire paintings by Frederick McCubbin have their origins early in his work, Down onHis Luck, 1889 (Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth), and On the Wallaby Track, 1896 (Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney) being among his most admired paintings. TheCampfire, Mount Macedon, while much later in date, continues the theme that begins in colonial times with its appeal of bush life and warm company by the glow of the fire. The location is now McCubbin's favourite, at Mount Macedon where he and his family settled in 1901. In those first years, McCubbin painted gently lyrical works in which the young members of his family were models, as in What the Little Girl Saw in the Bush, 1904 and Childhood Fancies, 1905. These subjects of bush fairies recall the tragic tale of children lost in the bush, now transformed into one of enchantment of subject matched by the play of light through the sylvan bush of Macedon. Happy and homely of inspiration, McCubbin was moving in the following years from narrative to a greater interest in atmospheric effects. While the tale lingered on in Sylvan Glade, Macedon, 1906 (Bendigo Art Gallery, Victoria), by 1910 in Hauling Rails for a Fence, Mount Macedon(National Gallery of Australia, Canberra) the two young figures become part of the colour composition.Style and technique suggests that The Campfire, Mount Macedonwas painted within this time span, about 1908 to 1910. The sparkle of light, colour, and greater spontaneity of handling recommends a date after 1907, when the impact of seeing J.M.W. Turner's paintings in England played such a creative role in McCubbin's art. While providing a humanising touch, the figure is no longer the focal point of the subject, nor the composition. Rather, the male figure (no longer a child) is now part of the overall composition, the underlying theme being the association of man and the environment, of his relationship to nature.The earlier realism has given way to the freer Impressionist style, where the subject is the transient effects of nature, of changing light and colour. McCubbin loved the Macedon bush, as this painting shows so readily. As the enclosed foreground opens out into the distant panorama, the smoke of the fire blends with the haze of distance. The feeling of spontaneity that comes from painting en plein airgives it that special immediacy of appeal, in perfect harmony with the intimacy of the painting's size. This sparkling light, landscape and campfire are found again a few years later in Landscape, Macedon, c1914 (Art Gallery of New South Wales).1. Frederick McCubbin, 'Some Remarks on the History of Australian Art', in MacDonald, J., The Art of FrederickMcCubbin, Lothian Book Publishing, Melbourne, 1916, p. 86DAVID THOMAS

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Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 CLIFF AND OCEAN BLUE, 1932 (also known as PORT CAMPBELL CLIFFS)  oil on canvas

Lot 45: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 CLIFF AND OCEAN BLUE, 1932 (also known as PORT CAMPBELL CLIFFS) oil on canvas

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Description: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 CLIFF AND OCEAN BLUE, 1932 (also known as PORT CAMPBELL CLIFFS) oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: ARTHUR STREETONframer's label attached verso: John Thallon, Melbourne DIMENSIONS 63.5 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE Private collectionSotheby's, Melbourne, 21 April 1986, lot 78 (as 'Port Campbell Cliffs')The Rogowski Collection, MelbourneLeonard Joel, Melbourne, 23 February 1998, lot 34 (as 'Port Campbell Cliffs')Estate of a private collection, Melbourne EXHIBITED Exhibition of Paintings by Arthur Streeton, Fine Arts Gallery, Melbourne, 31 March - 14 April 1932, cat. 19 (as 'Cliff and Ocean Blue') LITERATURE Streeton, A., The Arthur Streeton Catalogue, self published, Melbourne, 1935, cat. 1044 (as 'Cliff and Blue Ocean') ESSAY Arthur Streeton had a penchant for visiting places of popular attraction, outstanding tourist sites such as Mount Buffalo, the Grampians, and Port Campbell. The latter, a coastal town on Victoria's Great Ocean Road, is near the Twelve Apostles and the Port Campbell National Park. Working at the scenic spots near Port Campbell in early 1932, Streeton produced a number of vibrant paintings described as 'glowing canvases' when shown in his March exhibition at Melbourne's Fine Arts Gallery.1The major works included Ramparts Face the Ocean, Romance in Blue and Gold, and our painting, Cliff and Ocean Blue, one of the largest of the group. 'The recent work', wrote the Arguscritic, 'has remarkable freshness, combined with its strength and distinction'.2He noted that, 'A visit to Port Campbell and thereabouts has been rich in results'. When adding, 'Cliffs and gently breaking blue sea appear in several of the works', he singled out our painting for special mention - 'One of the most impressive is "Cliff and Ocean Blue", a fascinating suggestion of mobile light and colour in association with the solidity and colour of the cliff'.The panoramic majesty of the scene, expanse of blue waters and sheer drop of the rock face dominates, the human presence barely seen at the cliff top. But it is strongly felt in the artist's passionate response. Into this moment of awe Streeton wove a sense of joy in the poetic appeal of nature at her grandest, reflected in the title he gave this and other related paintings, as in Romance in Blue and Gold. In another, Dizzy Near the Edge, Streeton continued the narrative of his visit and the fascination experienced when the mighty movements of the ocean met the bulwark of the land. He had a deep interest in the subject, seen early in the 1890s Sydney paintings 'Sunlight Sweet', Coogeeand The Blue Pacific. Writing at the time to Tom Roberts, Streeton said, 'The ocean is a big wonder, Bulldog [Roberts's nickname]. What a great miracle. It's hard to comprehend it, like death and sleep. The slow, immense movement of this expanse moves one very strongly. You're made to clutch the rocks and be delighted, a dreadful heaving and soft eternity.'3It continued to move Streeton through his many brilliant sunburst paintings of Sydney Harbour, and echoed again and again in others of the rugged Victorian coastline pounded by the Southern Ocean. Cliff and Ocean Blueis a classic Streeton painting rejoicing in an equally classic Australian image, deep of ocean blues bathed in golden sunlight.1. The Herald, Melbourne, 30 March 1932, p. 132. The Argus, Melbourne, 31 March 1932, p. 83. Arthur Streeton quoted in Croll, R. H., Tom Roberts: Father of Australian Landscape Painting, Robertson and Mullens, Melbourne, 1935, p. 9DAVID THOMAS

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Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT BUFFALO, c1914 oil on canvas

Lot 46: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT BUFFALO, c1914 oil on canvas

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Description: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT BUFFALO, c1914 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: A STREETON DIMENSIONS 63.5 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE Sir Chester and Lady Manifold collection, VictoriaLeonard Joel, Melbourne, 24 July 1985, lot 140Rogowski collection, MelbourneLeonard Joel, Melbourne, 23 February 1998, lot 25Estate of a private collection, Melbourne EXHIBITED The Royal Institute of Oil Painters, London, possibly 1915, cat. 24 (label attached verso) LITERATURE Clemente, C., Australian Watercolours 1802-1926, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991Eagle, M., The Oil Paintings of Arthur Streeton in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1994, p. 159 (illus.) RELATED WORKS Buffalo Mountains, oil on canvas, 76.5 x 64.0 cm, collection of the Castlemaine Art Gallery and Historical Museum, Victoria, in The Arthur Streeton Catalogue, self published, Melbourne, 1935, cat. 529 (as 'Valley, from Bent's Lookout', c1913-14)Valley, from Bent's Lookout, c1913-14, watercolour, 54.0 x 36.8 cm, collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, MelbourneBlue Depths, 1915-17, oil on canvas 121.5 x 150 cm, EXHIBITED Royal Academy, London, 1915, private collection ESSAY When Arthur Streeton made a return visit to Australia in 1914, he visited Melbourne and Sydney for exhibitions, and in November painted at Mount Buffalo on Victoria's Great Dividing Range. On the tenth of December, at the Athenaeum Hall in Melbourne, he exhibited 'the results of his recent visit to Mount Buffalo, when either in water or oil he captured many of the well-known scenes familiar to tourists'.1 The exhibition was opened by Madam Melba, who described herself as 'one of the greatest admirers of Mr Streeton's work'.2In the absence of a traced catalogue, the Argusreview tells of some fourteen works, including Lilac, Blue and Goldand View from Bent's Look-out. 'In the most of them [it was reported, Streeton] has succeeded in conveying, not only the immense distances, but the translucent atmosphere through which they are generally seen, and this he does by brush passages that never falter, and contain a world of meaning.'3As was his habit, Streeton chose a particular scenic spot, Bent's Lookout, from which to paint dramatic views of Northcote Crevasse, as seen in our Mount Buffalo, c1914. On Streeton's return to England in early 1915, later that year he EXHIBITED the grand view, Blue Depths, c1915-17, at London's Royal Academy.4Large in scale, it heralded the monumental in his approach to landscape painting, a feature of his Grampians and later paintings.Taken from the same scenic spot as our painting, Blue Depths, is a closely related work, the two views differing only in as much as Streeton had taken a step forwards for the larger work. In Mount BuffaloStreeton encompasses a wider, even more panoramic view, retaining all the drama of the scene. The play of foreground verticals against distant horizontals emphasises the perpendicularity of the drop. The close up view of the rocks increases the precipitous feeling, all abruptly falling away, with the spread of valley and landscape below enveloped in the heat haze of late spring. As Mount Buffalowas EXHIBITED with London's Royal Institute of Oil Painters, it is possible that Streeton referred to it in London, together with a number of sketches, for the painting of Blue Depths. Back in Australia, in March 1920 Blue Depths, together withView from Mt Buffalo and On Mt Buffalo were EXHIBITED in Streeton's solo exhibition at the Victorian Artists' Society Gallery. These three specially chosen paintings were EXHIBITED among many works of the Western Front, painted when he was an Official War Artist during in France 1918. As the above View from Mount Buffaloand our painting are the same size, perhaps they are the one and same work.1. 'Art Exhibition', The Argus, Melbourne, 10 December 1914, p. 62. 'Mr Streeton's Pictures', The Argus, Melbourne, 11 December 1914, p. 93. The Argus, Melbourne, 10 December 1914, p. 64. Illustrated in Smith, G., Arthur Streeton 1867-1943, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1995, p. 155DAVID THOMAS

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Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT ROSEA, GRAMPIANS, 1920 oil on canvas

Lot 47: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT ROSEA, GRAMPIANS, 1920 oil on canvas

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Description: Arthur Streeton 1867 - 1943 MOUNT ROSEA, GRAMPIANS, 1920 oil on canvas SIGNED signed lower right: A STREETON DIMENSIONS 63.5 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE Collection of Mr Arthur Baillieu, MelbourneEstate of Keith McRoberts, MelbourneLeonard Joel, Melbourne, 13 April 1988, lot 69Rogowki collection, MelbourneLeonard Joel, Melbourne, 23 February 1998, lot 120Estate of a private collection, Melbourne EXHIBITED Mr Arthur Streeton's Exhibition of Paintings of the Grampian Mountains, Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne, 1-6 November 1920, cat. 5 (as 'Monta Rosea')Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 1970 LITERATURE 'Mr Streeton's Pictures', The Argus, Melbourne, 2 November 1920, p. 9'Mr Arthur Streeton Among the Grampians', The Age, Melbourne, 2 November 1920, p. 8Streeton, A., The Arthur Streeton Catalogue, self published, Melbourne, 1935, cat. 751 (under 1921, as 'Mount Rosea', collection of Mr Arthur Baillieu) ESSAY 'The sentiment of Australia's vast spaces is admirably conveyed in a collection of paintings of the Grampians and Dandenongs by Mr. Arthur Streeton, that will be on view at the Athenaeum Hall, Collins street, to-day'.1So began The Argusreview of Streeton's exhibition that offered Melburnians and visitors a splendid diversion during the Cup Week of 1920. Mount Roseawas singled out, with others, for special mention as being among those paintings in which the artist was successful in solving the difficulties 'of changing sunlight and shadow ... giving a fine suggestion of the beautiful colour of the Australian mountains'. The Agewas even more enthusiastic, its critic describing the exhibition as 'an important event in Australian art'. 'It marks', the writer continued, 'the return to his position of preeminence of our greatest landscape painter.'2Warming to his subject, the reviewer wrote, 'The pictures of the lovely scenery of the Grampians Mountains that are shown in the present exhibition are more poetical and more romantic than anything that Mr Streeton has previously done.' He continued, 'What Streeton has added to his wonderful technique is a warmer note of sentiment.' Then comes the curious observation, 'Here and there that note is over-emphasised, as in the picture of Monta Rosea, where the simplicity of the effect departs from sincerity.' To the modern eye, this is exactly why Mount Roseahas such appeal - the striking yet powerful simplicity with which Streeton has achieved his noble ends. The view, which is considered to be one of the most spectacular in the region, is bold in its sweep, as sunlight touches the cliff tops, upright, before they move downwards into the valleys. A symphony in sunlight with movements in blue, it captures the grandeur of the scene with a bravura that is unmistakenly Streeton at his panoramic best. The elevated position appealed both for view and ennoblement. Streeton wrote, 'When painting among the Grampian Hills, I found that my best subjects were visible from the crests of the Peaks ... once perched upon the Sundial Peak, above the world, the reward is evident in a vast expanse of pale blue over myriad gums rising to Mount Rosea, or over Boronia Peak to Stawell 20 miles to the East.'3It was Streeton's first visit to the Grampians and he responded with such empathy and pride that paintings such as Hall's Gap, the Grampians, 1920, in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and Mount Rosea, Grampianshave been adopted as part of our national image.1. 'Mr Streeton's Pictures', The Argus, Melbourne, 2 November 1920, p. 92. 'Mr Arthur Streeton Among the Grampians', The Age, Melbourne, 2 November 1920, p. 83. Arthur Streeton, Notes for memoirs, Streeton family papers, quoted in Eagle, M., The Oil Paintings of Arthur Streeton in the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1994, p. 159DAVID THOMAS

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Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 ST KILDA PIER  (DARK HEAD) , c1944-45 Ripolin enamel on composition board

Lot 48: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 ST KILDA PIER (DARK HEAD) , c1944-45 Ripolin enamel on composition board

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Description: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 ST KILDA PIER (DARK HEAD) , c1944-45 Ripolin enamel on composition board DIMENSIONS 63.5 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE The Estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, United KingdomSotheby's, Melbourne, 16 September 2001, lot 58Private collection, Sydney EXHIBITED Nolan's Nolans: A Reputation Reassessed, Agnew's, London, 11 June - 25 July 1997, cat. 25 (illus. in exhibition catalogue) ESSAY Sidney Nolan grew up in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda. He attended the Brighton Road State School, and enjoyed the carefree existence of the beach and the many attractions St Kilda offered. Returning to St Kilda in the forties, he recaptured, in lively reminiscence, paintings redolent of his childhood. His two Constructivist 1941 paintings, Luna Park, featured the fun of the 'Big Dipper'. Ferris Wheel, 1945 is in the collection of Heide Museum of Modern Art Gallery, Melbourne. TheGiggle Palace, 1945 shows the young Nolan with parents and beach backdrop, and Under the Pier, 1945 (Nolan Gallery, near Canberra) the sheer joy of playing in the sea. While Brighton Road Sate School, 1944 (Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide) drew upon his recollections of the primary school he attended as a child, he also ventured into contemporary events as in Fire, Palais de Danse, 1945. Whereas in Full Back, St Kilda, 1946 (National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne) he revealed himself as a true Melburnian in its addiction to football. Each of these paintings, in their different ways, is realized as a work of child art, of that visual innocence which leads to wonderment. Naively styled with all the imaginative power and directness that is so convincing, it is mastered by the artist of extraordinary creative gifts - the natural painter.The paradox lies in their sophistication and lyricism, the clever handling of perspective and proportion to give both an illusion of the naive and of naivety itself. Take proportion and the way in which things or persons of importance are presented larger in scale than others. (As we all recall, things looked bigger when we were children.) For Nolan it becomes an inventive tool, as in St Kilda Pier(Dark Head), c1944-45, the back view of the head ever enigmatic against a field of opalescent blues. Although we do not know who this person is, she was for Nolan important. Her size tells us so - perhaps part of the gestation of the Ned Kelly head of later works? The viewer can adopt the figure for him or herself and escape into a wonderland of reminiscence. Or might it be a member of an audience viewing life as presented on stage? The similarly enigmatic objects look somewhat like the flats of a theatre set. Reflecting on some others of these early paintings, Nolan said, 'Seeing these pictures again is a bit like looking into a pool and seeing your own reflection - memory puts ripples across it. The people who inspired some of the images, one no longer sees, and so it's interesting to remember them again from the images - '.11. Sidney Nolan, 'Down Under on a Visit', Queen, London, 15 May 1962, quoted in Clark, J., Sidney Nolan Landscapes and Legends, a retrospective exhibition: 1937-1987, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1987, p. 65DAVID THOMAS

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Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 BATHER, 1945 Ripolin enamel on composition board

Lot 49: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 BATHER, 1945 Ripolin enamel on composition board

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Description: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 BATHER, 1945 Ripolin enamel on composition board SIGNED signed with initial, dated and inscribed with title lower right: N June 20th '45 Bather DIMENSIONS 61.5 x 74.0 cm PROVENANCE The Estate of Sir Sidney Nolan, United KingdomSotheby's, Melbourne, 16 September 2001, lot 72Private collection, Sydney ESSAY Sidney Nolan loved the beach. Living in the Melbourne bayside suburb of St Kilda, he happily spent much of his youth there, becoming a talented amateur high diver and gymnast. Recounting those times, Nolan said he 'spent all day and much of the night on the beach - it was a university, gymnasium, everything combined'.1The appeal was so strong that in one day in May 1945 he painted four remarkable works full of the exuberant enjoyment of sun, sand, and water - Bather(At Morning), Bather andSandcastle, Bather(At Sunset) and Bather(At Night). Each is dated 'May 29th 45'.2Our painting, Bather, 1945, was painted a few weeks later together with its companion Bather, St Kilda Beach, each dated 'June 20th 45'.After Nolan left the army in 1944, he recalled, 'like a lot of others, I tried to recapture things, to see things again, to re-experienced them'.3Returning to St Kilda provided him with a wealth of memories and happy recollections from his youth, of Luna Park, couples in Catani Garden, 1945 (Nolan Gallery, near Canberra), and most of all the beach. To evoke these memories the more effectively, Nolan adopted a naive, child-like manner to suit the style to the subject. There is a flatness of the picture plane with figures and forms crossing or rising up the picture surface, rather than into it as an illusion of depth. Colours are simple, bold and bright. In our painting, the posed figure of the girl, the sand, and pylons of the St Kilda pier are right up on the surface, the absence of a skyline adding to the effect. Into this the artist introduces the wondrous effect of water, wet, floating, and reflecting. Nolan once said, 'Memory is I am sure one of the main factors in my particular way of looking at things. In some ways it seems to sharpen the magic in a way that cannot be achieved by direct means.'4It has been suggested that the young girl featured in this work and the other above-mentioned bather paintings is one of Nolan's sisters. In some he presents her as the holiday girl by the sea, as a creative recollection of happy days. In others, the sense of fun, especially in Bather and Sandcastle, is infectious, engendered by the inventive use of the ridiculous, arms and legs everywhere. It is not surprising that these early paintings of bathers were so important to Sidney Nolan that he kept many of them among of his personal collection.1. Sidney Nolan, 'Down Under on a Visit', Queen, London, 15 May 1962, quoted in Clark, J., Sidney Nolan Landscapes and Legends, a retrospective exhibition: 1937-1987, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1987, p. 612. Nolan's Nolans: A Reputation Reassessed, Agnew's, London, 11 June - 25 July 1997, cat. 13-16 (illus.)3. Lynn, E., Sidney Nolan- Australia, Bay Books, Sydney, 1979, p. 484. Nolan, quoted in Clark, J., op. cit., p. 51DAVID THOMAS

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Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 DIMBOOLA, 1943 Ripolin enamel on composition board

Lot 50: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 DIMBOOLA, 1943 Ripolin enamel on composition board

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Description: Sidney Nolan 1917 - 1992 DIMBOOLA, 1943 Ripolin enamel on composition board SIGNED signed, dated and inscribed verso: Nolan / Dimboola / 1943 / for Amelda / with love / from Sidney / 6 may 1977 / xx DIMENSIONS 64.0 x 76.0 cm PROVENANCE Gifted to the artist's daughter, Melbourne, 1977Private collection, MelbourneDeutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 4 June 2003, lot 38Private collection, Sydney EXHIBITED On long-term loan to The Ian Potter Museum of Art, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne ESSAY Ironically, Sidney Nolan's Wimmera paintings of the early 1940s owe their origin to the Australian army into which the artist was conscripted in 1942. Sent to Dimboola, his guard and other duties allowed him plenty of time to paint, resulting in a period of intense creativity. Here, Nolan forged anew an image of the Australian landscape from the raw and uncompromising scene around him, its chief feature being its monotonous flatness. Writing about Nolan's art in a 1943 issue of Angry Penguins, Albert Tucker saw 'the development of an individual perception of a very high order, and ... the steady growth of a rare lyrical talent, maturing in his Nhill and Dimboola landscapes. Here ... we glimpse for the first time since Roberts, McCubbin and early Streeton, the return of an authentic national vision on a higher and more independent level.'1Stationed periodically in the Wimmera towns of Horsham, Nhill and Dimboola, Nolan painted such strikingly individual works as those now in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne - Going to School(two versions) 1942, and the 1943 paintings Railway Yards, Dimboola, Flour Lumper, Dimboola, and After Grassfire, among others. Just east of Nhill he painted the visually arresting Kiata, 1943, in the collection of Canberra's National Gallery of Australia, and the confronting Self Portrait, 1943, naive in conception, obsessive, and unforgettable. In Dimboola in May 1942, he wrote, 'Being out in the open on top of the loaded trucks and the wind icy it seems to intensify looking at the fields. There is so little to break the vision and the whole landscape appears to surround you everywhere except the particular minute patch that is yourself.'2Dimboola, 1943 differs from Nolan's landscapes in being full of people, the spontaneity with which it is realized being aided by the fluid and quick drying Ripolin enamel used. The liveliness of brush strokes and overall painterly activity harmonise perfectly with the subject - people coming out in the freshness of the evening air to socialize after the scorching heat of the day. Particularly decorative notes are provided by the patterns of the women's dresses as the pulse of life is captured in the feel of the paint. The range of colours is wider and more lyrically inclined than in his other Wimmera paintings, the exception being another Dimboola, 1944, painted after Nolan returned to Melbourne. Dimboola, 1943, however, has a special claim to fame in witnessing the first appearance of the image that later made Nolan internationally famous. The enigmatic red shape rising above the horizon on the far right, Nolan commented some time later, represents the first appearance of the image of Ned Kelly in his art.1. Albert Tucker, Angry Penguins5, quoted in Clark, J., Sidney Nolan: Landscapes and Legends, International Cultural Corporation of Australia Limited, Sydney, 1987, p. 422. Sidney Nolan, Dimboola, 24 May 1942, quoted in Clark, op. cit., p. 54DAVID THOMAS

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