An image of Down the hills to Berry's Bay

Roland Wakelin

(Australia 1887 – 1971)

Down the hills to Berry's Bay

20th & 21st c Australian art
Further information

It was about the year 1913 that the first glimmerings of what is now called 'modern art' came to us in Sydney ... Colour was the thing it seemed - vibrating colour, and there were new ideas in composition - unorthodox ... We commenced to heighten our colour, working in stippling touches, and to make severe cubistic drawings.

Roland Wakelin, 1928

With its broken brushstrokes of pure vibrating colour, this painting reveals Roland Wakelin's admiration for E Phillips Fox's painting 'The ferry', and for the modernist approach of the post-impressionists encouraged by his teacher Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo. The simplified form and accentuated arabesque of the shoreline foreshadow the earliest abstract paintings in Australia. Wakelin's radical approach however caused a furore among the Royal Art Society's hanging committee in 1916.

oil on canvas on hardboard
68.0 x 122.0 cm board; 64.0 x 118.6 cm sight; 81.4 x 136.0 x 5.3 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, blue oil "R.S.WAKELIN. 1916".
Purchased 1961
Accession number
© Roland Wakelin Estate
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