Full Record

The Art Gallery Arrival of Pictures
Record no:
8 May 1896
Kept:Press clippings book 2, p. 2


The Perth Art Gallery in the past has existed more in name than anything else, and the few pictures exhibited were not remarkable for their artistic merit. Now, however, a change has occurred, and Mr. Woodward has just received what it is hoped will prove the nucleus of a really good art gallery. The Government recently made a special grant of £1,000 for the purchase of pictures, and Sir James G. Lee Steere, Mr. J. W. Hackett. M.L.C., and Mr. J. Lake, of Melbourne, were appointed a selection and purchasing committee. These gentlemen recently visited the neighboring colonies and purchased the eight pictures which are now being hung in the Art Gallery. Some of the paintings formed a portion of the collection of the late Mr. D. Fisher, of Victoria.

When our representatives visited the Art Gallery yesterday afternoon, Mr. Woodward and his assistant were hanging the newly-arrived pictures. Some of them were already on the walls, but Mr. Woodward explained that the Gallery would not be open to the public until Tuesday next.

The first painting to be viewed was “A Portrait,” by Sir James Lawrence, who in the beginning of the century was at the zenith of his fame as a portrait painter. In the year 1820 he was elected president of the Royal Academy. The picture shows the head and bust of a lady of the time, and is executed in the manner which one would expect from so great a master. The price paid for the painting was 250 guineas.

“Lake Lugarno,” [sic] by R. P. Bonington, is a charming little picture, and gives one a clear indication of the great name the artist would have made for himself had he lived longer. He died in 1828, at the early age of 28 years.

The picture which is certain to attract the most attention and admiration is “Low Tide at Guernsey,” by Arnold Helcké. The atmospheric effects are beautifully caught, while the merest detail has been so carefully attended to by the artist that it is greatly assisted in making a pronounced success of the whole. It is the sort of picture of which one would never tire, for there is always something new to be seen and appreciated in it. It is a fine large canvas, and is hung in a prominent place.

“Royal Windsor,” is the only water-color of the group, and it can well hold its own with those in oils, for it is the work of that great artist, E. H. Fahey, R.I., the modern painter who is renowned for his water-colors and landscapes. It is a painting of Windsor, taken from the northern side of the Thames. In foreground is the river, while in the background is the magnificent regal pile, with its dark battlements standing out distinctly. The perspective is splendid, and one seems to see every inch of the space intervening between the river and the castle.

“On the Road to Dromana” is a typical Australian scene painted by Louis Buvelôt, of Melbourne.

The general effect of “The Lizard Point, Cornwall,” by William Mellbye, R.A., of Copenhagen, is good, but, on a more minute examination being made, it strikes one as peculiar that a barque under full sail should be sailing along on the next wave to the breakers with a heavy breeze blowing on to a lee shore.

“Down on his Luck,” by Fredk. M‘Cubbin, a leading Melbourne painter, is sure to meet with much attention and sympathy. It shows a bushman seated on a stone in the bush over a small fire, evidently down on his luck, as the title denotes. All the main points are capitally brought out, and the picture is essentially realistic.

The eighth and last painting is “The Little Fruit Girl.”
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