I have been to Perth, Australia, Mt. Helena which is in the hills about 30 kms outside Perth, and Melbourne and in the hills around Melbourne and these paintings absolutely capture the ruggedness of early Austrailain architecture and the beauty of the landscape.
Untitled : could have been painted in the tree-covered parts of my friends' farm in Mt. Helena. The gum trees and the acacias, when in full bloom, give off a heady fragrance at night that can be smelled meters away. In the mid-day still air nary a leaf moves nor a cockatoo flies.
Nocturne, Templestowe (1896) : on my friends' farm there was a dam with trees very much like these down in the lower pasture and we used to sit in the evenings and watch as the kangaroos came down for a drink in the gathering dusk. One old fellow had made a bed in front of the bedroom where I stayed and I greeted him every morning, one old codger to another.
Untitled, Street Scene Dieppe watercolor & A Street in Dieppe Pencil and watercolour on paper : we spent a day wandering around Fremantle on the coast and the older buildings used 150+ years ago as old prison cells were very rough hewn, such as the buildings in these paintings, even the colors of the materials are the same even though Dieppe is in France. Uncanny.
St IVes, 1893 : the only time I saw the Indian Ocean was a couple of weeks after a Great White Shark attack where a man was killed. The water looked cold and grey and very unpleasant, nothing like this idyllic painting, which I gather is not a scene from Australia and which, therefore, looks a tad out of place, although further north towards the equator there must be places that look like this.
Harlequin and Dancer, Dieppe by their daughter Gwendoline Davies : reminds me of a Grecian plate of old.
Very interesting selection. Once again, I thank you, sir.