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Title

(Ruined church with poppies, Villers-Bretonneux)

circa 1919

Artist

Evelyn Chapman

Australia

25 Oct 1888 - 18 Jul 1961

  • Details

    Place where the work was made
    Villers-Bretonneux Somme France
    Date
    circa 1919
    Media category
    Painting
    Materials used
    oil? on thick grey card
    Dimensions
    39.0 x 30.5 cm board
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Bequest of Pamela Thalben-Ball 2015
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    21.2015
    Copyright
    © Estate of the artist

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Evelyn Chapman

    Works in the collection

    15

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  • About

    Evelyn Chapman trained in Sydney under the Italian-born artist Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, together with fellow students Grace Cossington Smith and Norah Simpson. She moved to Europe with her family in 1911 and attended the Académie Julian in Paris, gaining a classical training in life drawing. When war broke out in 1914, the family moved to London and Chapman spent time in St Ives, Cornwell, a thriving cosmopolitan colony for artists from around the world. She began painting vivid works in tempera and oil, which evidence her assimilation of French post-impressionist techniques.

    In early 1919, Chapman accompanied her father, a member of the New Zealand War Graves Commission, to France, visiting the area near Villers-Bretonneux where many Australian and New Zealand soldiers had lost their lives. Struck by the destruction she witnessed in the villages and cities, Chapman set up her easel and began to paint the ruined buildings and landscape, annihilated by years of continued bombardment.

    In a photograph taken of Chapman at Villers-Bretonneux in 1919, we see the artist seated amid the ruins of the church depicted in this painting. Despite the desolation of the landscape, the artist imbues a sense of optimism into the work, with its sunlit vista dotted with brilliant red poppies, thereby evoking hope, regeneration and life in a post-war world.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

    • Anne Gérard-Austin, Look, 'Remembering Evelyn Chapman: a new and unexpected bequest', pg. 14-15, Sydney, Apr 2015, front cover (colour illus.), 5 (colour illus.), 15.

Other works by Evelyn Chapman

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