COOCHIN COOCHIN, NEAR BOONAH, QUEENSLAND, c.1926

Important Australian and International Fine Art + Important Indigenous Art
Melbourne
29 November 2017
62

HILDA RIX NICHOLAS

(1884 – 1961)
COOCHIN COOCHIN, NEAR BOONAH, QUEENSLAND, c.1926

oil on canvas on board

33.0 x 41.0 cm

signed lower left: H Rix Nicholas
bears inscription verso: The Homestead – Coochin

Estimate: 
$10,000 – 15,000
Provenance

Bell family, Queensland
Thence by descent
Pamela Bell, Queensland
Private collection, Tasmania

Catalogue text

Coochin Coochin Homestead near Boonah is of historical significance, being one of the earliest stations established in Queensland. The property was taken up by pastoralist James Thomas Marsh Bell in 1883 and, after his death in 1903, his wife Gertrude Norton Bell and her children continued its operation. The main house, consisting of connected pavilions dating mainly from the 1840s, 1880s and the early 1900s, is surrounded by an extensive garden. Of special interest is a tree yard, famous for a series of plantings by distinguished 20th century visitors, initiated by Lord and Lady Chelmsford when they visited in 1907.

The large Bell family became patrons of their community and were popular, fashionable figures who entertained royalty, film stars, authors and artists. Edward, Prince of Wales visited the property in August 1920. At the end of 1926, Rix Nicholas purchased a car, filled its rear compartment with painting equipment and, together with Dorothy Richmond, set out to paint the landscape, ranging from Canberra and the Monaro plains to the south, up into central Queensland. The artist’s intimate glimpse of the homestead and garden was most likely painted on this trip.