An image of Botanical Gardens, Sydney

Roy de Maistre

(Australia, England 27 Mar 1894 – 01 Mar 1968)

Botanical Gardens, Sydney

Other titles:
Across the Domain, In the Domain
Not on display
Further information

After failing to enlist in 1916 due to ill health, Roy de Maistre became interested in the treatment of shell-shock patients by putting them in rooms painted in soothing colour combinations. In late 1918, he collaborated with fellow artist Roland Wakelin in exploring the relationship between art and music. Their experiments produced Australia's first abstract paintings, characterised by high-key colour, large areas of flat paint and simplified forms. The works received critical acclaim, but modernist developments were largely derided by the conservative establishment.

After 1919 de Maistre virtually abandoned colour-music and abstraction, instead his paintings of 1921–22 experimented with Max Meldrum's theories of tonalism. 'Across the Domain' 1918 reflects the artist's full embrace of modernism, under the guiding influence of his teacher and mentor Antonio Dattilo-Rubbo, who encouraged his exploration of post-Impressionism.

Place of origin
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
oil on canvas board
20.0 x 27.5 cm board; 44.0 x 51.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, pen and black ink "R. de Maistre 1918".

Gift of the Margaret Hannah Olley Art Trust 2012
Accession number
© Caroline de Mestre Walker