We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Burmese village



Mortimer L Menpes


22 Feb 1855 – 01 Apr 1938

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    oil on wood
    16.0 x 17.7 cm board; 51.0 x 37.5 x 3.0 cm frame
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. corner, dark brown oil "Mortimer.Menpes". Not dated.

    Purchased with funds provided by the Australian art Collection Benefactors 2021
    Naala Nura, ground level, Grand Courts
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Mortimer L Menpes

    Works in the collection


  • About

    The critical and commercial success of Mortimer Menpes' solo exhibition of Japanism works in 1888 encouraged him to return to Asia for new subjects, exhibiting works inspired by his travels in one man shows back in London. In 1889-91, Menpes travelled to India, Kashmir, and Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) which were then part of the British Empire. This work, which presents a hot and humid impression of a Burmese village, was exhibited in his follow-up exhibition in London in 1891.

    Menpes fondly recalled his travels in Myanmar in his colour illustrated travel book, World pictures (1902), writing: 'Burma is full of fascinating subjects for the painter. If an artist were to pitch his sketching easel at, let us say, a street corner in Mandalay, and supposing his search to be not only for the fatal "picturesque", but simply for life, life of air, of light, of movement and accident, he would find a wealth of material … [1]'.

    This artist designed frame features a fluted panel and an offset window. It was inspired by the frames Menpes encountered in Japan 1887, and possibly the layouts of intaglio prints.

    1. Mortimer Menpes, World pictures: being a record in colour, RH Russell, New York, 1902, p 254

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

Other works by Mortimer L Menpes

See all 11 works