The Joy of Museums

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“Bathing Hour” (L’Heure du Bain) by E Phillips Fox

Queensland Art Gallery - Joy of Museums - "Bathing Hour" (L’Heure de Bain) by E Phillips Fox

“Bathing Hour” (L’Heure du Bain) by E. Phillips Fox depicts a beach scene from France’s Channel Coast.  Fox was living in Paris when he painted this painting depicting a resort frequented by the middle classes. This painting is unusual in a number of respects. Public bathing was not common at this time and it was unusual for a female child to be exposed in such a way. This scene is just one of a number of motherhood scenes depicted by Fox after his marriage in 1905, however he and his wife Ethel remained childless.

E. Phillips Fox was an Australian Impressionist painter who had a considerable influence as a teacher on Australian art during the late 1800’s. When compared with Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder, Fox shows more interest in exploring the effects of light and shadow rather than to the sunny vistas one finds in the other painters’ Heidelberg paintings. He is described as an artist who “paid homage to Impressionism while retaining the tonal values of academic realism”.

Among the many masterpieces and historical objects in the Queensland Art Gallery, the following are some highlights:

Essential Facts:

  • Title:               Bathing Hour (L’Heure du Bain)
  • Artist:             Emanuel Phillips Fox
  • Dates:             1909
  • Materials:      Oil on Canvas
  • Museum:       Queensland Art Gallery

Artist Essential Facts:

  • Name:                       Emanuel Phillips Fox
  • Born:                         1865 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Died:                         1915 (aged 50) – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • Major Paintings:
    • A love story, 1903
    • Art Students (1895)
    • The Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay, 1770 (1902)
    • The Arbour (1910)
    • The Green Parasol (1912)
    • Al fresco, (1904)

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“Art is an illusion of spontaneity.” Japanese Proverb

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Photo Credit: By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons 2)