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Australian art

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Up the orchard



John Passmore


04 Feb 1904 - 09 Oct 1984


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




Media category


Materials used

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

Accession number


Artist information

John Passmore

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 2 publications


Barry Pearce, John Passmore 1904-84, Sydney, 1984, 37 (colour illus.). 10

Ursula Prunster (Curator), Australian painters; Seeing Cézanne, Sydney, 1998, 30. 21