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An image of Beach scene, Sandringham by Girolamo Nerli

Girolamo Nerli

(Italy, Australia, New Zealand 21 Feb 1860 – 24 Jun 1926)

Beach scene, Sandringham
(circa 1889)
Media category
Materials used
oil on cardboard

23.2 x 31.4 cm board; 33.6 x 41.5 x 2.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed l.l. corner, brown oil "GP [monogram]. Nerli". Not dated.
Purchased 1958
Accession number
19th c Australian art
Further information

Italian-born and trained, Girolamo Nerli brought the influence of the Macchiaioli plein-air group to Australian painters, including Conder, Streeton and Roberts. Like the French Impressionists, the Macchiaioli were concerned with the portrayal of light – but they were more interested in conveying a metaphysical intensity rather than light’s momentary effects.

This scene depicts Sandringham beach on Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne, and shows Nerli’s preference for rapidly sketched atmospheric effects in muted tones, with small contrasting touches of brightness. The figures strolling along the shore are important compositional accents to an otherwise sparingly delineated coastal landscape.

Bibliography (7)

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1958 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1958, 12. 20

Betty Currie, Girolamo Pieri Nerli (1863-1926), Melbourne, 1976, 18, 19, 30, 33, (illus.).

Michael Dunn, Nerli - An exhibition of paintings & drawings, 'The art of Girolamo Nerli 1860-1926', pg. 11-24, Dunedin, 1988, 22, 23, 34, 114 (illus.), 115. 38

Dr Ursula Hoff, Charles Conder, Melbourne, 1972, (illus.).

Alan McCulloch, The golden age of Australian painting - Impressionism and the Heidelberg school, Melbourne, 1969, 31 (illus.). 30

Ron Radford., Ladies in Landscapes, 'Ladies in Landscapes', Ballarat, 1974, (illus.). 26; catalogue entry and sepia toned reproduction; not paginated

Linda Slutzkin, On the beach, Sydney, 1982, 8 (illus.). 3

Exhibition history (5)

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1958, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 11 Feb 1959–08 Mar 1959

Ladies in Landscapes:

On the Beach, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Dec 1982–28 Dec 1982

Italian artists working in 19th century Australia (1993), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 24 Sep 1993–21 Nov 1993

Plein-air painting in Europe 1780-1850, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Sep 2004–31 Oct 2004