- Media category
- Materials used
- oil on canvas
- 127.5 x 96.8 cm stretcher; 148.3 x 117.5 x 4.2 cm frame
- Signature & date
Signed l.r. corner, red oil "Gleeson". Signed and dated u.l. [on tablet above entablature on building in background], brown and white oil "JA GLEESON/ .../ MCMLI".
- Purchased 1952
- Not on display
- Accession number
- © Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation
- Artist information
Works in the collection
Gleeson spent three months living in Italy in 1948.
"It was my first encounter with the classical world, in situ, as it were ... and it set up a very real conflict for me. I had always been drawn towards the darker, less logical, more mysterious ethos of Northern European artists ... Theirs was a world in which man was by no means the measure of all things, but only a part of the turbulent, violent, and usually inexplicable forces of nature.
In Italy I encountered a very different view. Man was centre stage - the measure of all things ... In this Classical or neo-Platonic view, man was created in the image of God, or the gods were conceived in the image of man and the notion of human perfectibility, in the sense that a human being can become god-like, is implicit.
Michelangelo and other sculptors and painters pushed me towards this conception and it was to play a dominant role in determining my aesthetic route for the next twenty years or more."
- James Gleeson 1993
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000
Shown in 8 exhibitions
A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953
Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary (1962-63):
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Beauty and the beast: the art of James Gleeson, War Memorial Art Gallery, University of Sydney, Sydney, 28 Aug 2002–03 Oct 2002
James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Apr 2003–15 Jun 2003
James Gleeson: Beyond the screen of sight:
Australian modern masterpieces from the Art Gallery of New South Wales:
James Gleeson centenary: works from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 07 Nov 2015–27 Jan 2016
Referenced in 5 publications
Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, 'Introduction', pg. v-vii., Sydney, 1954, xii, illus.. plate no. 64
Christopher Heathcote, Art Monthly Australia, '"James Gleeson: Beyond the screen of sight" at the National Gallery of Victoria', pg. 26-29, Canberra, Mar 2005, 28 (colour illus.).
Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, 'Refined Destruction! Dainty Horror!', pg. 19-28, Sydney, 2003, 21, 51 (colour illus.).
Clive Turnbull, Jean Campbell and Daniel Thomas AM, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, Adelaide, 1962, 43. cat.no. 116
The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. not paginated, cat.no. 130
Other works by James Gleeson
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