New Zealand, Australia
16 Dec 1882 - 17 Oct 1939
Awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and painted the same year as Roland Wakelin's and Roy de Maistre's experiments in colour harmony, 'Spring frost' is one of Elioth Gruner's most critically acclaimed achievements. With its impeccable sense of light and tone, and its vigorous foreground brushwork, 'Spring frost' is a tour de force, and perhaps the most loved Australian landscape painting in the Gallery.
Elioth Gruner painted 'Spring frost' according to 19th-century plein-air conventions, but the work also demonstrates a contemporary succinctness of form. To complete the painting - one of his largest compositions - en plein air, Gruner built a structure to protect the canvas from the weather, and wrapped his legs with chaff bags to avoid frostbite. Although painted largely outdoors at Emu Plains, its large size and somewhat theatrical quality make it likely that Gruner completed parts of it later, in his city studio.
This work was acquired by the Gallery in 1939.
oil on canvas
131.0 x 178.7 cm stretcher; 157.5 x 206.7 x 14.0 cm frame + 25mm back build-up
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., black oil "E GRUNER/ 1919".
Gift of F G White 1939
Where the work was made
Shown in 10 exhibitions
Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1919), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, 04 Oct 1919–20 Oct 1919
Loan exhibition of the works of Elioth Gruner (1932), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 21 Dec 1932–21 Feb 1933
100 years of Australian painting (1948), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1948–17 May 1948
A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953
A century of Australian landscape painting: mood and moment:
The Wynne prize: an Australian landscape tradition (1987):
- S.H. Ervin Gallery, The Rocks 19 Dec 1986–01 Feb 1987
- Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Booragul 06 Mar 1987–29 Mar 1987
- Orange Regional Gallery, Orange 10 Apr 1987–17 May 1987
- Griffith Regional Art Gallery 03 Jun 1987–20 Jun 1987
- Wagga Wagga Art Gallery, Australia 01 Jul 1987–26 Jul 1987
- Albury Regional Gallery, Albury 07 Aug 1987–06 Sep 1987
- Broken Hill City Art Gallery, Broken Hill 18 Sep 1987–26 Oct 1987
- Tamworth City Gallery, Tamworth 05 Nov 1987–13 Dec 1987
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Elioth Gruner: Light and landscape (2010), New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, 30 Oct 2010–06 Feb 2011
Elioth Gruner: the texture of light:
Going West (working title):
- Hawkesbury Regional Gallery, Windsor 27 Mar 2020–17 May 2020
- Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest, Emu Plains 24 Aug 2020–23 Nov 2020
- Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland 27 Nov 2020–26 Feb 2021