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Australian art

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Beaumaris foreshore

(circa 1926)


Clarice Beckett


21 Mar 1887 - 06 Jul 1935


"Remarkable for its originality and character, Clarice Beckett's art demonstrates that almost anything ... even a commonplace piece of roadway, when accurately seen, may be as beautiful as anything else. Can art go further that that?"
Percy Leason

A student at Melbourne's National Gallery School under Frederick McCubbin, Clarice Beckett came under the influence of the theories of tonal realism advanced by Max Meldrum and his advocates, who included Percy Leason, William Frater, Colin Colahan and A.M.E. Bale.

Her celebration of suburban life turned commonplace subjects such as passing trams, motor cars and rows of telegraph poles into evocative images which captured the mood and atmospheric nuances of fog-bound streets and the vapour of steam rising from a searing, tarred roadway.

Like her Sydney counterparts, Grace Cossington Smith and Margaret Preston, Beckett saw in the surrounds of Beaumaris, where she lived and worked from 1919 until her premature death, a particular beauty in her urban environment. She remained unmarried, as did Grace Cossington Smith, concentrating instead on her development as a painter, and the responsibility of caring for her elderly parents.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2001



(circa 1926)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas on paperboard


45.5 x 51.0 cm board

Signature & date

Signed l.r., brown oil "C. Beckett". Not dated.


Jean Cameron Gordon Bequest Fund in memory of her mother Mary Gordon 2000

Accession number


Artist information

Clarice Beckett

Works in the collection


Shown in 2 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Earth, sky and paint', pg. 149-150, Sydney, 2000, 162 (colour illus.), 300.