Passmore's early work in England was greatly influenced by the paintings of Cézanne, which he would have seen in various public collections in London, and in books that he purchased, as quoted by Robert Hughes in 1966:
"I learnt the significance of what was being done in painting in France. Influenced first by ideas of Picasso, and later by Cézanne which could be endless but for one eye being forced towards the greater creative forces felt in work of Tintoretto and Rembrandt - conflicto necessario."
In early 1940, working from a cottage in Suffolk belonging to his art director at Lintas, Reg Jenkins, Passmore absorbed Cézanne's theories and began to paint landscapes near the house and invent compositions of nude bathers reminiscent of works by the French master. 'Up the orchard' is actually a view of the long back garden. Passmore recounted this period in 1984:
"Gooseberry Cottage was half-way between Constable's country, which was in Dedham Vale to the north-east, and Gainsborough's country which was in the opposite direction. It was a rural thing you see. But the character of Cézanne wasn't a rural thing ... the character of Cézanne was one of learning to paint ... There's two things about Cézanne - you can imitate him as much as you like and you can fall flat on your face ... what you have to do is study him as deeply as he studied himself."
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
oil on canvas
51.2 x 61.5 cm stretcher; 67.8 x 78.1 x 5.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, red oil "JP 46".
Bequest of Lucy Swanton 1982
Not on display
© John Passmore Museum of Art
Shown in 4 exhibitions
An exhibition of paintings and drawings from the collection of Lucy Swanton (1960), War Memorial Art Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney, 02 May 1960–13 May 1960
John Passmore Retrospective (1984-1985):
Australian Painters Seeing Cézanne:
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 28 Nov 1998–17 Jan 1999
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst Regional Council, Bathurst 05 Feb 1999–21 Mar 1999
- Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle 07 May 1999–20 Jun 1999
- Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat 16 Sep 1999–31 Oct 1999
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000