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Street scene, London



Godfrey Miller


20 Aug 1893 – 10 May 1964

Artist profile

  • Details

    Other Title
    The empty street
    Place where the work was made
    London England
    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on canvas board
    24.0 x 24.0 cm sight; 36.7 x 36.4 x 1.8 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the David George Wilson Bequest for Australian Art 2004
    South Building, ground level, 20th-century galleries
    Accession number
    © Estate of Godfrey Miller

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    Artist information
    Godfrey Miller

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This small but very fine early work by the artist displays particular influences from the Camden Town Painters, particularly Harold Ginner, who Godfrey Miller became interested in on his arrival to London in 1929.

    The decade Miller spent in London was a highly experimental one in which he moved towards "a renaissance of my own, a discarding of the chrysalis" – a chrysalis which had largely involved the production of romantised tonal landscapes in his previous years in Melbourne. In seemingly modest still life arrangements and exquisite colour landscapes and street scapes such as 'Street scene, London', Miller began to structure form through colour and to assemble everyday objects and scenes under the principle that all forms are reducible to a harmonizing geometry. In years largely under sway of Cezanne, when English reactions to what was happening in Paris polarized into a conflicting pull between abstraction and representation, these beautiful small paintings were a necessary precursor for the artist, to the Cubist studies which came increasingly to occupy his time in London.

    The arrangement of this street scene along a set of defined diagonals may also imply the effects of Miller's reading of the Dynamic symmetrist Jay Hambidge and his claim that diagonals brought unity and tension to a painting. Colour is virtually rubbed into the canvas to give a hazy sfumato effect, analogous to the atmospheric effects Miller encountered on London streets: he wrote around this time, " Tonight I walked along the streets. They have now that soft, misty air that seems to sink down into the chasms of the building lined streets; light both by day, and artificial by night, is soft and full of colour".

    © Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2004

  • Places

    Where the work was made


  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 4 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 5 publications

Other works by Godfrey Miller

See all 56 works