Max MELDRUM, La Flume Enlarge 1 /1


27 Oxford Street, Edinburgh, Scotland 1875 – 24 Belmont Ave, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1955

  • Australia 1889-1900
  • France 1900-13
  • Australia from 1913
  • USA, Europe 1931

La Flume [The Mill Race (acquired as La Flume)] c.1910 Place made: France
Materials & Technique: paintings, oil on canvas

Primary Insc: signed lower right in oil, 'M. Meldrum'. not dated.
Dimensions: 72.0 h x 87.3 w cm framed (overall) 976 h x 1127 w x 105 d mm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1974
Accession No: NGA 74.139

By 1910, Max Meldrum had begun to explore his own theories of painting. He had embarked on a selective study of the European realist tradition, ranging from the seventeenth-century figure compositions of Diego Velázquez to the rural landscapes of mid-nineteenth century Barbizon school painter, Camille Corot.

Meldrum established a practice of painting directly from life, with a rapid application of colours and restricted tonal palette. A controversial figure owing to his fiery temper and apparently radical theories, on his return to Melbourne in 1913 Meldrum presented public lectures on these ideas and later established an Australian tonalist school of painting.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
From: Miriam kelly, Capital & Country: The Federation Years 1900 – 1913, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013