Twenty Classics of Australian Art
11 November 2020


(1865 – 1915)

oil on canvas

38.0 x 46.0 cm

signed lower left: E. Phillips Fox

$25,000 – 35,000
Sold for $29,455 (inc. BP) in Auction 62 - 11 November 2020, Melbourne

Private collection
Sotheby’s, Sydney, 16 August 1999, lot 180
Private collection, Sydney


Possibly: Paintings by E Phillips Fox and Mrs Fox (Ethel Carrick), Athenaeum Gallery, Melbourne, 5 – 16 May 1914
Possibly: Catalogue of Pictures by the Late E. Phillips Fox, Upper Athenaeum Hall, Melbourne, opened 29 February 1916

Catalogue text

‘When the Foxes arrived back in Australia on 20 May 1913, having boarded the Orvieto in Toulon, it was not for a permanent stay. They rented out their apartment in Paris, and the Australian press reported their plans to return. The Bulletin even had a definite date: ‘[they] propose to depart for the other side of the earth on Christmas Day’, 1914. Fate willed otherwise – war intervened and eventually Fox became ill and died.

These last two years were filled with intense energy. The couple organized a number of exhibitions in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide (the last one never took place). They painted scenes around Sydney Harbour, and travelled to Tasmania and Tahiti. Fox also executed a number of important portrait commissions. The artists’ principal reason for returning this time was to exhibit widely and to sell, although meeting the family and its younger members was always a heart-warming experience. In Australia by 1913 economic recovery was fully underway and exhibitions and sales were reaching maximum levels. In Europe, as Fox had written to Heysen in 1912, declaring his plans to come, there were almost no sales…’

The two artists arrived in Sydney during September 1913 and remained there until late December. ‘By 1914 Fox was again back in Manly, painting Green Wave, Manly…Some time during 1914 Fox also painted at Stanwell Park. This locality offered him a glorious variety of motifs – from a dried-out riverbed to gnarled ti-trees and rocks, and a hill steeply rising above the water, which he painted at moonrise. Perhaps another reason Fox went there was the fact that Edward Officer lived at Stanwell Park for a time. The two artists were well acquainted and were both connected with the newly formed Australian Art Association, in which Officer was an active organizer…Some of the scenes Fox painted at Stanwell Park are among his finest inland works painted during these years in Australia.’1

1. Zubans, R., E. Phillips Fox: His Life and Art, The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1995, pp. 163, 165-66