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Australian art

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Greek girl



Jean Bellette

Australia, Spain

1908 - 16 Mar 1991


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.


Place where the work was made

Majorca Spain



Media category


Materials used

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

Accession number


Artist information

Jean Bellette

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

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.

Christine France, Amanda Beresford and Barbara Hall, Jean Bellette retrospective, Sydney, 2004, 57 (colour illus.), 72.

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.