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Frances Ellis

(New Zealand 1900 – 1971)

Still life of flowers and fruit
Media category
Materials used
watercolour on paper

60.9 x 50.6 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed l.r., "FRANCES D. ELLIS.". Not dated.
Bequest of Earle Backen 2006
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Born in New Zealand, Frances Ellis studied in London at the Central School in London in the mid-1920s, where Bernard Meninsky's teaching had the most impact on her. In the mid 1930s she came to Australia to study under Dattilo-Rubbo, further cementing her adherence to French post-impressionism, especially the work of Cezanne. She took over management of the Dattilo-Rubbo School between 1941 and 1949.

Dattilo-Rubbo set up his school shortly after he arrived in Australia from Italy in1897. It remained an important influence on artists in Sydney until the 1950s. Dattilo-Rubbo valued drawing above all else and particularly admired Cezanne, Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. His enthusiasm for them can also be seen in the work of three of his best-known early students - Roland Wakelin, Grace Cossington Smith and Roy De Maistre.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2006