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Figures in a classical landscape

circa 1950


Jean Bellette

Australia, Spain

1908 – 16 Mar 1991

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Sydney New South Wales Australia
    circa 1950
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on plywood
    40.0 x 50.0 cm board; 57.3 x 67.3 x 4.5 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r., red oil "JB". Not dated.

    Bequest of Margaret Olley 2012
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Bathurst Regional Council

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Jean Bellette

    Works in the collection


  • About

    'Group of figures in a landscape' c1950 was completed following the artist’s critical recognition of the 1940s which saw her win the Sir John Sulman Prize for genre painting in 1942 and 1944. Its procession of classical figures embedded within a distant, unspecified setting is not unlike the Gallery’s 'Electra' 1944. Operating outside of modernist, nationalist and socio-political narratives in Australian art, Bellette drew upon Europe’s reinterpretation of the 'essence' of antiquity two decades earlier. It has been suggested that mythology was her means of investigating societal values and psychological traits, even the Australian experience. Bellette stated in 1952:

    'I have tried to paint groups of figures in landscape, using mythology as a pretext; my main preoccupation was to try and order space and colours in a certain way, so that they would suggest to me some atmosphere I recognise …'

    Significantly, Bellette was a member of the Society of Artists and a co-founder of the Sydney Group.

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Jean Bellette

See all 22 works