Skip to content

Collection

An image of Study for 'Something is going to fall like rain' by James Gleeson

James Gleeson

(Australia 21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008)

Title
Study for 'Something is going to fall like rain'
Other titles:
Study for painting
Study
Year
1983
Media category
Drawing
Materials used
pastel
Dimensions

35.5 x 50.7 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., pen and ink "Gleeson 12.1.1983".
Credit
Gift of the artist 1989
Accession number
145.1989
Copyright
© Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation
Location
Not on display
Further information

The title of this work is from three lines in W H Auden's poem 'The witnesses' 1932-34: 'The sky is darkening like a stain;/ Something is going to fall like rain,/ And it won't be flowers'.

'... It was one of the key poems that I discovered many years ago, that had an effect on me like the T S Eliot poems', Gleeson quoted in Renée Free's unpublished catalogue of James Gleeson's work.

This pastel is a study for the bottom half of the painting. Another drawing in the AGNSW collection is also for the bottom half of the painting [see 138.1990.2], while another is for the top half [see 138.1990.1].

'This has an even more tormented sky ... In a key position in it, a fairly generalised adaptation of El Greco's 'View of Toledo' [circa 1597-99, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]. This has been a painting I always admired and have never been disenchanted with ... it is one of THE greatest landscape paintings of all time to my mind. I wanted to imply something of the mood of that painting but transmuted into an imaginary world beyond the normal visual experience one could have in nature ... I was very conscious of the fact that it was painted at a time when the Inquisition was in full force and that the burning of heretics was probably going on at the very moment when the painting was made. I felt the world today is in a predicament not unlike that', Gleeson quoted in Free.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 75.

Bibliography (1)

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Sydney, 2003, 75 (colour illus.). cat.no. 28c

Exhibition history (2)

James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Apr 2003–15 Jun 2003

Australian Drawings 1988-1989, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1989?–1989?