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An image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere
Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere
Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere Alternate image of Australian beach pattern by Charles Meere

Charles Meere

(Australia 06 Dec 1890 – 17 Oct 1961)

Australian beach pattern
Other titles:
Beach Pattern
Place of origin
SydneyNew South WalesAustralia
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas

91.5 x 122.0 cm stretcher; 108.0 x 138.8 x 5.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, pencil "CHARLES MEERE 1940".
Purchased 1965
Accession number
© Charles Meere Estate
Entrance court
Further information

Charles Meere was one of a group of Sydney artists whose work modernised classical artistic traditions as a means of depicting national life during the inter-war period. The epitome of his vision is Australian beach pattern, a tableau of beach goers whose athletic perfection takes on monumental, heroic proportions. Meere created a crowded and complex composition through the pattern of figures, which appears as a still-life of suspended strength. This iconic painting encapsulates the myth of the healthy young nation symbolised by the tanned, god-like bodies of the sunbathers.

This work was a finalist in the 1940 Sulman Prize and was acquired by the Gallery in 1965.

Bibliography (47)

Bonhams Australia (Compilator), Important Australian art, 'Important Australian art: lots 1-41', pg. 6-74, Paddington, Aug 2014, 34. Related work: 'Australian beach pattern' c1940 by Charles Meere

Susannah Smith, Look, 'Australian guests: Australia at the Royal Academy of Arts, London', pg. 16-18, Newtown, Dec 2013-Jan 2014, 18.

Kohinoor Sahota (Editor), Where London, 'Wizards of Oz', pg. 30, Augusta, Sep 2013, 30 (colour illus.). editor's pick

Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Making Sydney modern: the artistic shaping of the postwar city', pg. 66-85, Sydney, 2013, 79, 183 (colour illus.), 314, 323.

Deborah Hart, Australia, 'Australian landscape: pathways into the modern world 1920-50', pg. 184-225, London, 2013, 188, 189, 204, 205 (colour illus.). 139

Deutscher and Hackett, Melbourne (Compilator), Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction: Melbourne 26 November 2008, Woollahra, Nov 2008, 38, 39. Related work: 'Australian beach pattern' by Studio of Charles Meere, lot 18

Robert Drewe, The Bodysurfers, Victoria, 2008, front cover (colour illus., detail).

Susan McCulloch, Alan McCulloch and Emily McCulloch Childs, The new McCulloch's encyclopedia of Australian art, Carlton, 2006, 672 (colour illus.). Another version titled 'Australian Beach Pattern'; dated c.1938-1940; Courtesy estate of the artist and Deutscher Fine Art.

Steve Meacham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Muse worthy', pg. 6, Sydney, 26 Dec 2005, 6 (illus.).

Steve Meacham., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Bondi: A biography', Sydney, 26 Dec 2005, (colour illus.). Article located online.

Joy Eadie, Art Monthly Australia, 'In time of war: Charles Meere's Australian beach pattern', pg. 26-31, Acton, Dec 2005-Feb 2006, 26 (colour illus.), 27, 28, 29, 30, 31.

Richard White, On holidays: a history of getting away in Australia, North Melbourne, 2005, front cover (cover illus., detail), back cover (colour illus.).

Ursula Prunster, Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (illus.). card no. 15: Anne Zahalka 'The bathers' 1989

Don Featherstone (Director) and David Woodgate (Producer), The beach, Australia, 2000, 00:01.25 and 00:46.25 (colour, details).

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Curriculum Corporation, Australian readers - Discovering Democracy - Middle Primary Collection, Carlton South, 1999, 27 (colour illus.).

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Jane Angus, Carolyn Glascodine, Marion Russell and Barbara Vaughan (Editors), Discovering Democracy, Middle Secondary Units, Carlton, 1998, 140 (illus.).

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Merryn Gates, Strike a pose: Hunter art.1 art tourist 2004, 'Putting you in the picture', pg. 8-16, Lake Macquarie, 2004, 13, 18.

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Deutscher-Menzies Fine Art, The Sydney auction: Australian and International Art: Fine Art, 4 March 2003, Sydney, 2003, 48-49. Lot no. 29 is another, smaller version of the AGNSW painting.

Robert Rosenblum, The beach, 'Art on the beach', pg. 8-14, Florida, 2002, 12, 13 (colour illus.).

Author Unknown, Wool in the Australian imagination, Glebe, 1994, (illus.).

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Chris Deutscher, Australian modern masters and 19th & 20th century Australian and International Fine Art: Fine Art auction 3 & 4 May 2000, Melbourne, 2000, 100. reference to work in assocation with lot 62 'Bronte Beach'

Georges-Goulven Le Cam, L'Australie: Naissance d'une nation, 'D'une guerre à l'autre (1900-1950)', pg. 95-111, Rennes, 2000, 104 (colour illus.). plate no. 147

Harry Gordon, Olympic Opening Ceremony Sydney 2000, 'Sport ... a magnificent obsession', pg. 6-8, Sydney, 2000, 8 (colour illus.).

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Donald Williams and Colin Simpson, Art now: contemporary art post - 1970, Sydney, 1994, 33 (illus.). fig. no. 2.10

Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 118 (colour illus.), 183. 67

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Linda Slutzkin, On the beach, Sydney, 1982, 18 (illus.). 13

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, 'Landscape Landscapes.', pg. 11, Sydney, 27 Aug 1952, 19. NOTE: General review of Charles Meere exhibition held at David Jones Art Gallery 1952.

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph and daily news, 'Painting of Beach scene', pg. 5, Sydney, 21 Aug 1952, 5 (illus.). NOTE: Photo of Charles Meere infront of painting; General review of Charles Meere exhibition held at David Jones Art Gallery 1952.

James Gleeson, Sun, 'No warmth in Meere's paintings', pg. 17, Sydney, 21 Aug 1952, 17. NOTE: General review of Charles Meere exhibition held at David Jones Art Gallery 1952.

Exhibition history (11)

Archibald, Wynne and Sulman (1940), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Jan 1941–23 Feb 1941

Charles Meere A.R.C.A. (1952), David Jones' Art Gallery, Sydney, Sydney, 20 Aug 1952–28 Aug 1952

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

Celebrity Choice - Sam Neill, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 08 Jan 1987–08 Feb 1987

Two hundred years of Australian painting : Nature, people and art in the southern continent:

On the beach: Australian Artists at the shore, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Bulleen, 05 Dec 1994–05 Feb 1995

Ready, set, ... go! Sporting life and Australian art, Global Arts Link, Ipswich, 18 Aug 2001–11 Nov 2001

"When I was young...": artists' impressions of childhood, Global Arts Link, Ipswich, 09 Nov 2002–02 Feb 2003

Strike a pose, Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul, 13 Feb 2004–04 Apr 2004

Art Deco 1910-1939, NGV: International, Melbourne, 27 Jun 2008–05 Oct 2008

Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 21 Sep 2013–08 Dec 2013