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An image of Coastal still life by Jean Bellette

Jean Bellette

(Australia, Spain 1908 – 16 Mar 1991)

Coastal still life
Media category
Materials used
oil on hardboard

85.8 x 109.8 cm board; 107.6 x 132.6 x 7.3 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, red oil "J Bellette". Not dated. Signed u.r. verso, black oil ".../ Jean Bellette".
Purchased 1955
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

Jean Bellette's interest in classical mythological subjects as conveyors of societal values and desires placed her outside the mainstream of modernist production. While consistent with the principles of her broader practice, her still life paintings reveal her exploration of formalist problems and demonstrate her use of modernist techniques such as the creation of ambiguous space and geometric simplification of forms.

'Coastal still life' is one of a number of still lifes Bellette produced during the 1950s, portraying an arrangement of vessels with fruit and flowers. Strong shadows are cast enhancing the geometic qualities of the objects and their rich tonal relationships. The background presents an unresolvable space with a hazy sky amid rectangular, cubist-inspired forms used as compositional devices by the artist.

Bibliography (4)

David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, The Sydney Group (1955), Sydney, 1955. 2

Christine France, Amanda Beresford and Barbara Hall, Jean Bellette retrospective, Sydney, 2004, 72.

Grahame Kime., Flora: still life moving fast, 'Flora still moving fast', Gymea, 2008, (colour illus.). not paginated

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1955 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1956, 5. 2

Exhibition history (6)

The Sydney Group (1955), David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, Sydney, 1955–1955

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1955, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 09 Feb 1956–29 Feb 1956

The Arts Festival of the Olympic Games (1956), National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne, 18 Nov 1956–15 Dec 1956

Jean Bellette retrospective (2004-2005):

Flora: still life moving fast, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, 06 Dec 2008–01 Feb 2009

Still life, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jul 2013–23 Apr 2014