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Title

Study for 'The fortress'

1949


Artist

James Gleeson

Australia

21 Nov 1915 - 20 Oct 2008


About

Gleeson first conceived this distinctively shaped vessel after reading about burial customs in Sir Thomas Browne's 'Hydriotaphia Urn-Burial; or, a Discourse of the Sepulchral Urns Lately Found in Norfolk' 1658. The urn occurs in a number of paintings, including 'The fortress' 1949, 'Flight' 1950; there is also an oil study for 'Flight' in the collection, and 'The trap 2' 1971.

Gleeson described the urn in 'Flight' as representing an entry into Hell. Alongside the steps leading to the urn a number of skulls in bark shelters mark the way. Also influential was the existentialist one-act play 'No exit' by French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre (1905-80) first performed in 1944, in which the three principal characters find themselves in Hell.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 48.


Details


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia


Date

1949


Media category

Drawing


Materials used

blue ball-point pen, pen and blue and sienna ink, pale blue wash


Dimensions

6.4 x 7.9 cm sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Frank O'Keefe 1993


Location

Not on display


Accession number

179.1993


Artist information

James Gleeson

Artist profile

Works in the collection

479


Place

Where the work was made
Sydney

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Hendrik Kolenberg, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, 'Introduction', pg. 11-16, Sydney, 2003, 13, 48 (colour illus.). cat.no. 12a