Decorative Arts

Benalla Art Gallery’s digitisation of the Gallery Collection began with the photography of our small but precious decorative arts collection. The Collection was gifted to the Gallery in 1993 as part of the substantial Ledger Bequest left by Laurie and Erma Ledger. It includes a broad range of porcelain manufactured by Royal Worcester, Spode and…

Grace Cossington Smith (1892 – 1984)

Grace Cossington Smith was sixty years of age when she painted After fire 1952.  It is one of a group of similarly themed landscapes that she produced close to her family home on Sydney’s upper north shore. After spending the previous three years in Europe, she had returned to Turramurra to be confronted by the…

Roy de Maistre (1894 – 1968)

Roy de Maistre was born LeRoy Leveson Laurent Joseph de Mestre at Bowral, New South Wales, in 1894. One of six children, he grew up in a former residence of the governors of New South Wales and along with his siblings was home tutored rather than going off to school. De Maistre left Bowral when…

Clara Southern (1860 – 1940)

The artist’s home c.1909 belongs to a period of Clara Southern’s work when she was being hailed as one of Victoria’s leading artists. It was produced following her relocation from Melbourne to Warrandyte, a place where she was to live and work for the rest of her life. The painting depicts the cottage, detached studio…

John Russell (1858 – 1930)

John Russell is widely acknowledged as Australia’s finest and first true Impressionist artist. From 1884-1888, when he lived in Paris, Russell gained first-hand experience of the Impressionist style and met its leader, Claude Monet. Russell mixed in a wide circle of progressive artists and became friends with many of them, including the sculptor Auguste Rodin….

Matthew James MacNally

Benalla Art Gallery recently acquired 10 paintings by Matthew James MacNally to add to the small number already held in the Gallery’s Collection. The paintings were donated by the Estate of Alison L. McInnis. Matthew James MacNally was born in Benalla on 5 July 1873. His interest in art began seriously in the mid-1890s when…

Ada May Plante (1875-1950)

A perfectionist, shy and intensely private, Ada Plante painted slowly and lived very quietly on a small inherited income. Although she had attracted recognition as a student and young artist, her work remained relatively unknown. She initially experimented with impressionism but over time she became more interested in Post Impressionism, characterised by the use of…