An image of The idle hour

Arthur Murch

(Australia 08 Jul 1902 – 23 Sep 1989)

The idle hour

Other titles:
Idle hours
Not on display
Further information

I can truthfully say it is the best piece of flesh painting (colour) I've seen ... It was beautifully warmed with the most subtle of grey greens running through, better than Lambert's flesh.

Eric Wilson, 1933

Highlighting his early study under sculptor Rayner Hoff, Arthur Murch first modelled his subject for this painting in plaster in order to study the effects of light. 'The idle hour' exemplifies Murch's skill at painting light and flesh tones. It reveals the influence of the early Renaissance and classical-period statuary on his work, and his own sympathetic observations of family life.

During the 1930s, Murch was a prominent and successful exponent of an approach to painting in which artists sought to tie their depictions of Australian modern life to the classical traditions of European art in their quest for a national culture.

Place of origin
Thirroul, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia
oil on canvas on hardboard
81.9 cm diam. sight; 100.0 cm diam. frame
Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., brown oil "MURCH.33".

Purchased 1933
Accession number
© Murch Family. Licensed by Copyright Agency