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Jean Bellette

(Australia, Spain 1908 – 16 Mar 1991)

Greek girl
Place of origin
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

97.3 x 162.8 cm stretcher; 111.0 x 176.8 x 3.8 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r., black oil "JB". Not dated.
Bequest of Margaret Olley 2012
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Included in Jean Bellette’s final solo exhibition at Holdsworth Galleries in 1976, 'Greek girl' 1975–76 is representative of the final phase of the artist’s career. Bellete and her husband, German-Swiss artist/art critic Paul Haefliger, left Sydney in 1957 for the Spanish island of Majorca, acquiring a farm in Fornalutx where Bellette lived until her death in 1991 (Haefliger died in 1982).The works from this period draw on the historical and aesthetic characteristics of Bellette’s adopted home.

In 'Greek girl', a single female figure, partially cut from the composition, is depicted standing on the far left of the picture plane, back turned against a typically Mediterranean terrain with eyes closed and arms extended.
Restraint in treatment and colour featured in earlier works has been replaced with painterly expression and lighter tones of yellow, white and purple. Mythology and timelessness, however, epitomized by the monumentality of this classical figure and ancient landscape, are retained.

Bibliography (4)

Amanda Beresford., Art and Australia (Vol. 31, No. 3), 'Mind, myth and modernism: revaluing Jean Bellette', Killara, Autumn 1994, 377 (colour illus.).

Nancy Borlase., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Bellette at home in past', Sydney, 25 Mar 1976.

Christine France, Amanda Beresford and Barbara Hall, Jean Bellette retrospective, Sydney, 2004, 57 (colour illus.), 72.

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The art of enigma', pg. 19, Sydney, 02 Apr 2005-03 Apr 2005, 19. Review of Jean Bellette Retrospective in Spectrum section.

Exhibition history (2)

Jean Bellette (1976), Holdsworth Galleries, Australia, 16 Mar 1976–03 Apr 1976

Jean Bellette retrospective (2004-2005):