Tottenham, Middlesex, England 1868 – Virginia Water, Surrey, England 1909
The coming of spring
Richmond, New South Wales, Australia
Materials & Technique: drawings, watercolours, painting in watercolour over drawing in black pencil
Primary Insc: Signed and dated lower right in watercolour, 'Chas Conder / 1888'. Titled centre right in watercolour, 'The Coming / of / Spring'.
Charles Conder’s The coming of Spring is a delightfully tiny concoction, all watery high colour and soft atmospherics. It reflects Conder’s passion for Japanese woodblock prints in the truncated decorative elements and homage to the aesthetics of Japanese design. While this shimmering landscape may have been painted in Conder’s studio, it is spontaneous and fresh with memories of sojourns in the Hawkesbury district with Julian Ashton. While Conder spent only eight years in Australia and his later work is typified by fanciful landscapes, Coming of spring shows an underlying sensitivity to the Australian bush, and is underpinned by his association with the Heidelberg School artists Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin and Arthur Streeton.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra