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Oil painting on board signed Murch


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Oil painting on board signed Murch, 15" x 23", "Dawn at Berrima".

(1902-1989) In 1924, Arthur Murch abandoned his career as an engineering draughtsman in Sydney to become a full-time artist. He had been studying at the RAS School with Dattilo Rubbo and James R. Jackson since 1921, and from 1923-25 with the sculptor Rayner Hoff. It was his sculptural work that won him the 1925 NSW Travelling Art Scholarship. The scholarship allowed him to travel to Europe and explore paintings "as if I were a pilgrim traversing the years." He travelled widely in Italy and was strongly influenced by the work of the Italian primitives and the Renaissance artists. His paintings from the 1920s and 1930s reflect these influences. He studied at the Chelsea Polytechnic, London, in 1925. When he returned to Australia in 1927, he worked as George Lambert's studio assistant until Lambert's death in 1930. Sculptural commissions dominated these years. His sculpture from the 1930s and 1940s, such as the Dame Nellie Melba Memorial in the Sydney Town Hall, is strongly Art Deco neo-Classical, typical of the revival of that period. His paintings evoke the sun-drenched, antipodean Arcadian popular in art at that time. Observation Post, Darwin ART28400 After a visit to Europe from 1936-40, Murch began to experiment with modernist developments in colour and form. His notes of that time show his fascination with the work of the French impressionists, CÚzanne and Seurat. His style became more cubist in form, with the rounded forms of nudes and other figures painted in bright diffused colours, predominantly yellow, pink and blue. He shared his knowledge of the developments of the twentieth century with his students. He began teaching modelling and drawing at East Sydney Technical College in the 1930s, and returned there after his years as an official war artist. Arthur Murch painting at Adelaide River, Northern Territory, October 1942 AWM 027194 Murch was appointed as an official war artist for six months during the Second World War to cover the military activities of United States forces in central Australia, Darwin and Thursday Island. In particular, Murch was to paint a portrait of General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the south-west Pacific. However, this proposal was abandoned. Instead, it was decided that Murch should depict military activities in the Northern Territory, such as the Japanese raid on Darwin. Wreck of Neptuna (ART26994), painted in 1942, represents the aftermath of the Darwin bombing. In November 1942, while in Darwin, Murch's health collapsed and he was admitted to hospital. On returning to Sydney in February 1943, Murch was diagnosed with streptococci infection. Consequently, his appointment as an official war artist concluded on 17 May 1943. Murch is represented in the Australian War Memorial by forty-seven works.


Asking price 1450 United States Dollars

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