Elise Blumann1897 - 1988 Banksia flowers 1946
- oil on card
German artist Elise Blumann arrived in Perth in the summer of 1938. She was immediately struck by the local landscape and the piercing brightness of the Australian light. Her painting in the subsequent decade focused on an analysis of various plant forms surrounding her home in Nedlands and in the hills outside Perth – the zamia palm, xanthorrhoea, banksia, casuarina and melaleuca. Blumann was also drawn to the settings of the Swan River and the Indian Ocean, which feature prominently in her work. Prior to her arrival in Australia, Blumann had lived through a tumultuous period of European history. She studied art in Berlin during World War I and with the rise of Nazism fled Germany in 1934, for Holland and later England. As a young artist she was attracted to a number of artistic styles – from the Post-Impressionist paintings of van Gogh to various forms of expressive art. In Australia Blumann brilliantly applied aspects of a modernist artistic style to the Western Australian landscape.