Rees made a number of visits to Europe during his lifetime and made many sketchbook drawings during his travels, which he later developed into drawings and paintings. 'A tribute to France' is based upon a visit Rees made to Béziers, in Languedoc, in 1969:
"We entered a narrow street on the left-hand side of this great open space and entered the maze of fascinating little squares and alleys, eventually emerging on a quite large square with a very remarkable cathedral on our left ... Opposite me I could see a wall and no building beyond it. When I reached it, there was the great open landscape and a river far below that was the inspiration for [this] picture.
The picture is meant to be a tribute to France as a whole, to its plains, its architecture. A church with a tower in the almost immediate foreground was introduced by me as a pictorial necessity, but also as an indication that the great Romanesque school of architecture began in the south of France."
- Lloyd Rees 1987
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
A Tribute to France - Country I
oil on canvas
116.9 x 132.1 cm stretcher; 134.0 x 149.3 x 6.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner, black oil "L.REES/ 68-69".
Shown in 5 exhibitions
Aspects of Australian art: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1976, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1976–1977
Lloyd Rees survey drawings and paintings 1918-1980 (1981):
- University Gallery, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne 01 Mar 1981–01 Apr 1981
- Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat 01 May 1981–01 Jun 1981
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney 30 Jun 1981–01 Jul 1981
- Wollongong Art Gallery, Wollongong 01 Sep 1981–01 Oct 1981
Les étés d'or: A homage to France, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 30 Jun 1989–30 Jul 1989
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Lloyd Rees in Europe (2002-04):
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Feb 2002–28 Apr 2002
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 13 Jun 2003–27 Jul 2003
- Albury Regional Gallery, Albury 06 Feb 2004–07 Mar 2004
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Launceston 07 May 2004–27 Jun 2004
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 09 Sep 2004–17 Oct 2004
- Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington 26 Oct 2004–05 Dec 2004
Referenced in 12 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 109 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Lloyd Rees Retrospective, ‘Catalogue: paintings’, pp 25-32, Sydney, 1969, 31. titled and dated 'Country I' 1969; cat.no. 95
Betty Clarke, Lloyd Rees, ‘Introduction’, pp 13-17, Melbourne, Mar 1981, 15, 33, 34 (illus.). titled ‘Tribute to France - Country 1’; cat.no. 20
Deutscher-Menzies, Sydney and Lawson-Menzies, Deutscher-Menzies & Lawson-Menzies, Sydney: Major fine art auction - 25 March 2009, Sydney, 2009, 84, 86.
Renée Free, Lloyd Rees, ‘Part III: Australia and Europe 1960-70’, pp 78-102, Melbourne, 1972, 99 (colour illus.), 219. titled 'Country I (Beziers)'; cat.no. O262; plate no. 31
Hendrik Kolenberg, Lloyd Rees in Europe, ‘Introduction’, pp 9-17, Sydney, 2002, 15 (colour illus.), 123, 124, 127.
Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, ‘Celebrating Lloyd Rees: a book and show on the Gallery’s collection of his work’, pg. 21-23, Sydney, Mar 2013, 22.
Robert Lindsay, Aspects of Australian Art: Art Gallery of New South Wales travelling art exhibition 1976, 'Lloyd Rees', Sydney, 1976, n.pag. (illus.). cat.no. 51
Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pp 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 31 (colour illus.).
Lloyd Rees, Lloyd Rees: an artist remembers, ‘Paintings of the 1960s’, pp 81-102, Sydney, 1987, 96 (colour illus.), 97, 152. plate no. 34
Ken Wach, Menzies, Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers: Important Australian & International Fine Paintings and Sculpture: 6 December 2012, Sydney, 'A song to creation - land', pp 110-113, Sydney, 2012, 112. lot no. 50
Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Acquisitions for 1969', pp 538, Sydney, Jul 1970, 544 (illus.). plate no. 32