Important Australian + International Fine Art
29 August 2018


(1865 – 1915)

oil on canvas

37.0 x 44.5 cm

signed lower left: E. Phillips Fox

$25,000 – 35,000

Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne
Private collection, Melbourne
Deutscher~Menzies, Melbourne, 20 August 2001, lot 95
Private collection
Mossgreen Auctions, Melbourne, 4 June 2008, lot 1017
Private collection, Melbourne


Spring Exhibition 1971, Recent Acquisitions, Joseph Brown Gallery, Melbourne, 13 October – 5 November 1971, cat. 28 (illus. in exhibition catalogue as ‘The Cove’)


Zubans, R., E. Phillips Fox, His Life and Art, The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1995, cat. 331, p. 225 (as ‘(The Cove)’)

Catalogue text

The French landscapes of Emanuel Phillips Fox have a singular Impressionist verve that distinguishes them from all others. Sun-filled views of towns and country-sides bathed in an atmosphere of sophisticated living, they are peopled with architectural treasures of the past set in landscapes seemingly designed to match. Such is Les Andelys on the Seine, c.1909 –11 where the town of Les Andelys in Normandy lies gently by a bend of the River Seine, the valley and its white cliffs having been formed by the same river over the millennia. To the centre right of the composition stands the thirteenth-century gothic church of Saint-Sauveur, its elegant spire rising above the surrounding, half-timbered houses of the old town. The elevated, panoramic view chosen by Fox gives added grandeur, enhanced by its proximity to the ruins of the Château Gaillard. Although to the upper left and outside this picture’s focus, the presence of the stronghold built by Richard the Lionheart is a further example of the romance of history giving the landscape an added appeal.

Fox’s response can be readily felt in the mood of the painting, his evocative handling of light, colour and paint translating a moment to be shared with others. This is extended through and confirmed by the several versions he painted about this time. Of three related works, Château Gaillard on the Seine, c.1909 – 11 (Zubans, cat. 335) in Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria shows the ancient ruin, half made by man and half by nature. Château Gaillard, France (cat. 336 and dated c.1906-11?) is in the University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane, and Château Gaillard, Les Andelys on the Seine, c.1909 – 11 (cat. 337) is in the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth.1 While the many excellent views of Les Andelys, intertwined with historical romance, were enough to attract any landscape artist of quality, there was an added enticement. The town was the birthplace of the master painter, Nicolas Poussin (1594 – 1665), founder of the great French Classical tradition.

In her authoritative book on Fox, Ruth Zubans tells us that he and his wife Ethel Carrick visited and painted the Château Gaillard in 1906.2 Although Zubans gave our painting the descriptive title ‘(The Cove)’, she identified it as one of three related works Fox painted during the years 1909 to 1911. She noted its similarity to Landscape near Rouen (cat. 332), which in turn is like Landscape on the Seine (near Château Gaillard) (cat. 333) – hence the more exact name of Les Andelys on the Seine for this painting. All are approximately the same in size, together forming a striking landscape group, and individually, each a gem in its own right.

1. Zubans, R., E. Phillips Fox, His Life and Art, The Miegunyah Press, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1995, p. 226
2. ibid, p. 138