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Collection

An image of Spring frost by Elioth Gruner

Elioth Gruner

(New Zealand, Australia 16 Dec 1882 – 17 Oct 1939)

Title
Spring frost
Place of origin
Emu PlainsSydneyNew South WalesAustralia
Year
1919
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

131.0 x 178.7 cm stretcher; 157.5 x 206.3 x 14.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., black oil "E GRUNER/ 1919".
Credit
Gift of F G White 1939
Accession number
6925
Location
Not on display
Further information

Awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and painted the same year as Roland Wakelin's and Roy de Maistre's experiments in colour harmony, 'Spring frost' is one of Elioth Gruner's most critically acclaimed achievements. With its impeccable sense of light and tone, and its vigorous foreground brushwork, 'Spring frost' is a tour de force, and perhaps the most loved Australian landscape painting in the Gallery.

Elioth Gruner painted 'Spring frost' according to 19th-century plein-air conventions, but the work also demonstrates a contemporary succinctness of form. To complete the painting - one of his largest compositions - en plein air, Gruner built a structure to protect the canvas from the weather, and wrapped his legs with chaff bags to avoid frostbite. Although painted largely outdoors at Emu Plains, its large size and somewhat theatrical quality make it likely that Gruner completed parts of it later, in his city studio.

This work was acquired by the Gallery in 1939.

Bibliography (49)

Renée Free. European Collection 1., Art Gallery of New South Wales collection series, 'Pierre Bonnard: Self-portrait in the dressing-room mirror', Sydney, 1981, (illus.).

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 96 (colour illus.).

Julian Ashton and Norman Lindsay, The art of Elioth Gruner, Sydney, [1922], (colour illus.). plate no. VII; Collection: F.G. White, Esq.; not paginated

Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, 'Introduction', pg. v-vii., Sydney, 1954, xii, xv, (colour illus.). plate no. 28

Geoffrey Batchen, Art Network, 'Gruner in retrospect', pg.8-11, Artarmon, Spring 1983, 8 (colour illus.).

Michaela Boland., Weekend Australian, 'Master cards', pg. 9, Surry Hills, 07 Sep 2013, 9.

Natasha Bullock, Look, 'Shedding Light, photographs by the great Harold Cazneaux are seen in a new light alongside paintings of the time', pg.13, South Yarra, Aug 2001, 13.

Ian Burn, National life and landscape - Australian painting 1900-1940, 'Art versus Nature', pg. 38-51, Sydney, 1990, 47. plate no. 53

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Helen Campbell, Look, 'Drysdale textile design... and other surprising 'rediscoveries'', pg. 30, Newtown, Aug 2014, 30.

Edmund Capon and Jan Meek (Editors), Portrait of a gallery, 'Australian Art in the Old Courts', pg. 24-37, Sydney, 1984, 36, 37 (colour illus.).

Jonathan Cooper (Editor), The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin, 'Close-Ups of the Collection', pg. 35, Sydney, May 1996-Jul 1996, 35 (colour illus.).

a Special Correspondent, Argus, 'Sydney day by day', pg. 6, Melbourne, 09 Oct 1919, 6.

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Exhibition history (9)

Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1919), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 04 Oct 1919–20 Oct 1919

Loan exhibition of the works of Elioth Gruner (1932), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Dec 1932–21 Feb 1933

100 years of Australian painting (1948), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1948–17 May 1948

A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953

A century of Australian landscape painting: mood and moment:

The Wynne prize: an Australian landscape tradition (1987):

Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003

Elioth Gruner: Light and landscape (2010), New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, 30 Oct 2010–06 Feb 2011

Elioth Gruner: the texture of light, Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, Canberra, 07 Mar 2014–22 Jun 2014