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An image of Toinette by George Bell

George Bell

(Australia 01 Dec 1878 – 22 Oct 1966)

Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
oil on cardboard

48.7 x 37.9 cm board; 64.7 x 53.5 x 4.3 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, green oil "George Bell/ .../ 34".
Purchased 1971
Accession number
© Reproduced with permission
Not on display
Further information

This portrait depicts the artist's only child, Antoinette, who was one of his favourite models. It is one of three portraits George Bell painted in London, and is a preliminary work for the final portrait held in the National Gallery of Victoria.

Bell travelled to England in 1934 to absorb new approaches to painting, motivated by his interest in modern art and growing dissatisfaction with the stagnation of the Australian art scene. His work from this period reveals certain stylistic changes, a consideration of line and form, and an increasing emphasis on colour. These developments, and Bell's exposure to the work of Modigliani, are particularly evident in 'Toinette'.

Bibliography (5)

Basil Burdett, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 73], 'Modern art in Melbourne', pg. 46, Sydney, Nov 1938, 46 (illus.).

Basil Burdett, The Studio, 'Australian art today', pg. 15, London, Jan 1938, 15 (illus.). NOTE: 'The Studio' was the international edition of the journal, published in London. 'The London Studio' was the New York edition, published in New York. The same article appeared in 'The London Studio', vol. XV, no. 82, page unknown.

Desmond O'Shaughnessy, Art and medicine: reminiscences & reflections of a retiring surgeon, 'Postlude', pg. 79-87, Melbourne, 1999, 84 (colour illus.), 84.

Sotheby's Gallery Sydney (Compilator), Sotheby's: important Australian art, Sydney, May 2014, 24, 25 (colour illus.). Related study on paper; lot no. 14

Felicity St John Moore, Classical modernism: the George Bell circle, Melbourne, 1992, 4. A colour illustration of the National Gallery of Victoria version is reproduced on the same page.

Exhibition history (1)

George Bell, Artarmon Galleries, Artarmon, Aug 1971 -