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Australian art

Western art

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Beach scene, Sandringham

(circa 1889)


Girolamo Nerli

Italy, Australia, New Zealand

21 Feb 1860 - 24 Jun 1926


Italian-born and trained, Girolamo Nerli brought the influence of the Macchiaioli plein-air group to Australian painters, including Conder, Streeton and Roberts. Like the French Impressionists, the Macchiaioli were concerned with the portrayal of light – but they were more interested in conveying a metaphysical intensity rather than light’s momentary effects.

This scene depicts Sandringham beach on Port Phillip Bay near Melbourne, and shows Nerli’s preference for rapidly sketched atmospheric effects in muted tones, with small contrasting touches of brightness. The figures strolling along the shore are important compositional accents to an otherwise sparingly delineated coastal landscape.



(circa 1889)

Media category


Materials used

oil on cardboard


23.2 x 31.4 cm board; 33.6 x 41.5 x 2.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.l. corner, brown oil "GP [monogram]. Nerli". Not dated.


Purchased 1958

Accession number


Artist information

Girolamo Nerli

Works in the collection


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 7 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Purchases and Acquisitions for 1958 National Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney, 1958, 12. 20

Betty Currie, Girolamo Pieri Nerli (1863-1926), Melbourne, 1976, 18, 19, 30, 33, (illus.).

Michael Dunn, Nerli - An exhibition of paintings & drawings, 'The art of Girolamo Nerli 1860-1926', pg. 11-24, Dunedin, 1988, 22, 23, 34, 114 (illus.), 115. 38

Dr Ursula Hoff, Charles Conder, Melbourne, 1972, (illus.).

Alan McCulloch, The golden age of Australian painting - Impressionism and the Heidelberg school, Melbourne, 1969, 31 (illus.). 30

Ron Radford., Ladies in Landscapes, 'Ladies in Landscapes', Ballarat, 1974, (illus.). 26; catalogue entry and sepia toned reproduction; not paginated

Linda Slutzkin, On the beach, Sydney, 1982, 8 (illus.). 3