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Title

Italy


Artist

James Gleeson

Australia

21 Nov 1915 - 20 Oct 2008


About

Gleeson spent three months living in Italy in 1948.

"It was my first encounter with the classical world, in situ, as it were ... and it set up a very real conflict for me. I had always been drawn towards the darker, less logical, more mysterious ethos of Northern European artists ... Theirs was a world in which man was by no means the measure of all things, but only a part of the turbulent, violent, and usually inexplicable forces of nature.
In Italy I encountered a very different view. Man was centre stage - the measure of all things ... In this Classical or neo-Platonic view, man was created in the image of God, or the gods were conceived in the image of man and the notion of human perfectibility, in the sense that a human being can become god-like, is implicit.
Michelangelo and other sculptors and painters pushed me towards this conception and it was to play a dominant role in determining my aesthetic route for the next twenty years or more."
- James Gleeson 1993

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000


Details


Date

1951


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas


Dimensions

127.5 x 96.8 cm stretcher; 148.3 x 117.5 x 4.2 cm frame


Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Gleeson". Signed and dated u.l. [on tablet above entablature on building in background], brown and white oil "JA GLEESON/ .../ MCMLI".


Credit

Purchased 1952


Location

Not on display


Accession number

8595


Artist information

James Gleeson

Works in the collection

479


Shown in 7 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 5 publications

Bibliography


Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, 'Introduction', pg. v-vii., Sydney, 1954, xii, illus.. plate no. 64

Christopher Heathcote, Art Monthly Australia, '"James Gleeson: Beyond the screen of sight" at the National Gallery of Victoria', pg. 26-29, Canberra, Mar 2005, 28 (colour illus.).

Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, 'Refined Destruction! Dainty Horror!', pg. 19-28, Sydney, 2003, 21, 51 (colour illus.).

Clive Turnbull, Jean Campbell and Daniel Thomas, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, Adelaide, 1962, 43. cat.no. 116

The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. not paginated, cat.no. 130