Blackwood Landscape
Blackwood Landscape

Henry Rielly

- Blackwood Landscape 1880
  • oil on canvas
61 cm x 40.5 cm


active 1870 - 1902

Blackwood landscape 1880

oil on canvas

40cm x 61cm


Acquired in 1984


Henry Rielly was born in Clerkenwell, London in 1845, the son of John Rielly, a builder/architect, and Sarah Hinson (née Beverly). He came to Australia with his family at age seven but nothing is known of his early training or experiences.

In his book Images in opposition: Australian landscape painting 1801-1890, Tim Bonyhady discusses Rielly's work in terms of the melancholy landscape¬Ě, a term used by the author Marcus Clarke between the late 1860s and mid 1870s to characterise the Australian bush. Clarke's writings on the melancholic were widely distributed during the nineteenth century. In reference to painters such as H.J. Johnstone, J.W. Curtis and Rielly, Bonyhady writes, 'Whether these artists were influenced by Clarke in their perception of the landscape is not conveniently documented, but their paintings sometimes appear almost as illustrations to Clarke's ideas.'

These artists offer an alternative view of Australia to Louis Buvelot's sun-filled landscapes and also provide a link between contemporary literature and art. Bonyhady, quite fairly, places these three artists in the second rank of colonial artists but Rielly's importance in the considerably less advanced artistic environment of Queensland took on an added significance.' Source: Design and Art Australia Online.

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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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