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Article

Jan Minchin

(b Hamburg, Aug 26, 1909; d 2000).

Australian painter of German birth. Untrained, she took up painting in 1936 at the suggestion of William Frater (1890–1974), a pioneer of modernist art in Melbourne who had been much influenced by Post-Impressionism. Over the next decade she developed a close working relationship with Frater. From 1943 to 1948 she lived at Darebin Bridge House, a converted hotel, which became a meeting place for artists and writers and was known as the ‘painter’s pub’: Frater, Ambrose Hallen (1886–1943) and Ian Fairweather had studios there. It was a stimulating and productive period. Her working method was rapid and intuitive. The vitality of her work derives most from the vigorous handling of paint and the strongly felt and immediate response to the subject. Colour was her main interest, and she used it to express mood and emotion. Subjects include cityscapes and a number of fine portraits: one of the best, the ...

Article

Jane Clark

Group of artists active in the late 19th century in Heidelberg, a suburb of Melbourne, who introduced plein-air Impressionism to Australia. The most important members were Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder.

Most of the group began their careers at the National Gallery of Victoria’s School of Art in Melbourne; several later studied overseas. Roberts, Streeton and Conder painted in each other’s company both at their various outer suburban plein air camps (Box Hill, mainly 1885–6; Mentone, Port Phillip Bay, 1887–8; for illustration see Conder, Charles; the ‘Eaglemont’ estate at Heidelberg 14 km from Melbourne, 1888–90; for illustration see Streeton, Sir Arthur; and in Sydney) and in Melbourne where they often shared or occupied adjoining studios. McCubbin often worked with them. When apart they corresponded regularly, recalling their artistic camaraderie with great nostalgia. Davies and many lesser-known figures, such as Jane Sutherland, Clara Southern, John Mather (...

Article

Leigh Astbury

(b Melbourne, Feb 25, 1855; d Melbourne, Dec 20, 1917).

Australian painter and teacher. A baker’s son, he trained from 1869 at the local Artisans’ School of Design in Carlton and by 1872 was at the School of Design, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. It was not until the Munich-trained George Folingsby (1828–91) was appointed master of the Gallery Art School in 1882 that McCubbin received a thorough academic training in figure painting. Folingsby evoked McCubbin’s interest in large-scale history pieces with a pronounced national flavour. From the colonial artist and Swiss émigré Abram-Louis Buvelot, McCubbin absorbed a more intimate, Barbizon-style vision of the Australian landscape. Julian Ashton directed his attention to subjects from contemporary life and introduced him to plein-air painting. In the mid-1880s McCubbin’s growing adherence to plein-air Realism was strengthened by the influence of Portugueseborn Arthur Loureiro (1853–1912) and, more dramatically, by the impact of Tom Roberts, recently returned from Europe in 1885...

Article

Jane Clark

[Thomas] (William)

(b Dorchester, March 9, 1856; d Kallista, Victoria, Sept 14, 1931).

Australian painter of English birth. A leader of the Heidelberg school and pioneer of plein-air Impressionism in Australia, he has been described as ‘the father of Australian landscape painting’. Having moved to Melbourne in 1869, he studied at the East Collingwood and Carlton Schools of Design and the National Gallery of Victoria’s School of Art (1874–81) while working as a photographic assistant. He led sketching expeditions with Frederick McCubbin and initiated student requests for reforms at the school. Returning to England, he enrolled in the Royal Academy Schools, London, on 6 December 1881, officially recommended by Edwin Long. In the summer of 1883 he toured Spain with the painter John Peter Russell. He learnt something of French Impressionism from Spanish art students Ramon Casas and Loreano Barrau (b 1864), and then followed the latter’s advice to visit the Académie Julian in Paris. He returned to Melbourne in ...

Article

Frances Lindsay

(b New York, Dec 26, 1853; d Melbourne, July 25, 1928).

Australian painter. She was the eldest daughter of George Sutherland (1829–85), a carver, music teacher and artist who moved with his family to Australia from Glasgow in 1864, settling in Melbourne in 1870. She attended the National Gallery School from 1871 to 1885 and was awarded the R. Wallen Prize in 1883. From mid-1888 she occupied a studio with Clara Southern and gave art lessons in Grosvenor Chambers, Collins Street, where Tom Roberts also had a studio.

From 1887 Sutherland joined sketching trips to Alphington and Diamond Creek and to the artists’ plein-air camps established by Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Streeton and other members of the Heidelberg group at Box Hill and Templestowe, near Melbourne. She was one of the most important female artists of the Heidelberg school. Her poetic, Impressionist landscapes often contain figure studies of children or women engaged in such gentle rural activities as mushroom picking and bracken gathering (e.g. ...

Article

Jane Clark

( Herbert )

(b Aston, Warwicks, Oct 22, 1854; d Eltham, Victoria, Oct 13, 1914).

Australian painter of English birth. He studied at the Royal Academy and South Kensington Schools (1870–82) in London and arrived in Melbourne on 1 January 1883 to work on the land for 18 months. He joined the life classes at the National Gallery of Victoria (1884–7), while employed as a lithographic draughtsman, and returned to Europe in 1887–8 to attend the Académie Julian in Paris. Back in Australia, he exhibited with the Victorian Artists’ Society and painted with the Heidelberg school artists, based at Eaglemont from October 1889 to June 1890. He was nicknamed ‘the orderly colonel’ for his organized habits. He leased the south end of the Heidelberg mansion ‘Charterisville’ from September 1890, painting prolifically, teaching and accommodating numerous fellow artists. The critic Sidney Dickinson named him, with Arthur Streeton, as a leader of ‘the “Heidelberg School” … for out-of-door painting’ (‘Two exhibitions of paintings’, ...