Included in Jean Bellette’s final solo exhibition at Holdsworth Galleries in 1976, 'Greek girl' 1975–76 is representative of the final phase of the artist’s career. Bellete and her husband, German-Swiss artist/art critic Paul Haefliger, left Sydney in 1957 for the Spanish island of Majorca, acquiring a farm in Fornalutx where Bellette lived until her death in 1991 (Haefliger died in 1982).The works from this period draw on the historical and aesthetic characteristics of Bellette’s adopted home.
In 'Greek girl', a single female figure, partially cut from the composition, is depicted standing on the far left of the picture plane, back turned against a typically Mediterranean terrain with eyes closed and arms extended.
Restraint in treatment and colour featured in earlier works has been replaced with painterly expression and lighter tones of yellow, white and purple. Mythology and timelessness, however, epitomized by the monumentality of this classical figure and ancient landscape, are retained.
oil on canvas
97.3 x 162.8 cm stretcher; 111.0 x 176.8 x 3.8 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.r., black oil "JB". Not dated.
Bequest of Margaret Olley 2012
Not on display
© Bathurst Regional Council
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Jean Bellette (1976), Holdsworth Galleries, Australia, 16 Mar 1976–03 Apr 1976
Jean Bellette retrospective (2004-2005):
- Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst 10 Dec 2004–16 Jan 2005
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks 12 Mar 2005–15 Apr 2005
- University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane 06 May 2005–12 Jun 2005
- Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington 12 Jul 2005–28 Aug 2005
- Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra 10 Nov 2005–18 Dec 2005
Margaret Olley - painter, peer, mentor, muse, S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks, 07 Jan 2017–26 Mar 2017
Referenced in 5 publications
Amanda Beresford., Art and Australia (Vol. 31, No. 3), 'Mind, myth and modernism: revaluing Jean Bellette', Sydney, Autumn 1994, 377 (colour illus.).
Nancy Borlase., The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Bellette at home in past', Sydney, 25 Mar 1976.
John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The art of enigma', pg. 19, Sydney, 02 Apr 2005-03 Apr 2005, 19. Review of Jean Bellette Retrospective in Spectrum section.
Renée Porter, Margaret Olley: painter, peer, mentor, muse, 'Margaret Olley: a celebration of life in paint', pg. 8-36, The Rocks, 2017, 74, 75 (colour illus.), 113.
Unknown, Unknown and Unknown, Jean Bellette retrospective, Sydney, 2004, 57 (colour illus.), 72.