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World of Mortimer Menpes

Painter, Etcher, Raconteur

written by Julie Robinson

Art Gallery of South Australia | ISBN 9781921668197

Hardback – 248 pages


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Adelaide-born Mortimer Menpes was an important Australian expatriate artist who worked in Britain in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is most renowned as a close associate of Whistler from 1880 until 1888, a time when he was influenced by Whistler’s Japanese-inspired aestheticism and acknowledged Whistler as his ‘master’. However, Menpes’s most prolific and successful period as an artist, post-dates his Whistlerian years. From the late 1880s and throughout the 1890s Menpes’s paintings and etchings, inspired by his first-hand experience of visiting Japan (and other ‘exotic’ locations) were enthusiastically received by a London audience eagerly embracing Japonisme. Menpes also achieved acclaim as a portraitist, with leading actors, artists, politicians and society figures flocking to his famous Japanese-inspired house to have their portraits painted or etched. This publication is the first to consider Menpes’ whole oeuvre and contribution to British art. It presents new scholarship from leading Menpes’ scholars from around the world and illustrates key works from public and private collections in Britain, the United States and Australia together for the first time.

Artist: Mortimer Menpes

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