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An image of Careening by Tristram Hillier

Tristram Hillier

(England 11 Apr 1905 – 18 Jan 1983)

Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

60.2 x 80.8 cm stretcher; 77.0 x 98.5 x 7.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., black paint "Hillier./ 1939".
Watson Bequest Fund 1946
Accession number
© Tristram Hillier Estate
Not on display
Further information

Tristram Hillier was born in Peking, China in 1905. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, London in 1926 under Henry Tonks and later in Paris under André Lhote. He lived in the South of France until 1940, served in the Royal Navy 1940-43, then settled in Somerset, England.

While living in Paris in the 1920s, Hillier became friends with Max Ernst and other leading Surrealist painters, and their influence was to have a lasting effect on his work. Hillier loved the sea and many of his paintings are of ships and beaches, each painstakingly precise in detail. He was an avid traveller and sketched profusely during his journeys, later constructing paintings from his rough drawings. His use of brilliant light and colour can most likely be traced to his stay in the south of France and his travels through the Mediterranean and Spain.

Provenance (1)

Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Arthur Tooth & Sons 1946

Bibliography (5)

Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, Paintings by Tristram Hillier, London, 1946, cover (illus.). cat. no. 22

Renée Free, Art Gallery of New South Wales catalogue of British paintings, Sydney, 1987, 86 (illus.).

Ted Gott, Laurie Benson and Sophie Matthiesson, Modern Britain 1900-1960, Melbourne, 2007, 254 (colour illus.), 256 (colour illus.).

Anne Kirker and Peter Tomory, British painting 1800–1990 in Australian and New Zealand public collections, Sydney, 1997, 100. 965

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Twenty three British painters, Sydney, 1953, 8. 23

Exhibition history (3)

Paintings by Tristram Hillier, Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd, London, 07 May 1946–01 Jun 1946

Twenty three British painters: NAGNSW Travelling Art Exhibitions 1953, Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1953–1953

Modern Britain 1900-1960, NGV: International, Melbourne, 15 Nov 2007–24 Feb 2008