Monday, 4 October 2010

Antipodean Venus: And so the story ends by Charles Wheeler

And so the Story Ends (1927)

Charles Arthur Wheeler OBE, DCM was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1880. However, after the death of his father, when he was about 11, his mother moved the family to Melbourne.
Nude with mirror. Pastel

By the time he was fifteen he had been apprenticed to a lithographic artist and started to study part time. In 1898 he started night school classes at the Australian National Gallery in Melbourne and began painting classes in 1905. He had his first one man show when he was about thirty and in 1910 sold a picture to the National Art Gallery of New South Wales.

In 1912 he travelled to Europe visiting London, Paris. Amsterdam and Madrid. At the outbreak of the Great War he enlisted in the 22nd Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers in England. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions at Vimy Ridge but turned down a commission, preffering to remain a sergeant.

Seated Nude (1920)

After the war he took a studio in Chelsea exhibiting at the Royal Academy. He returned to Melbourne in 1920 and during the twenties was at the height of his popularity; especially for his nudes.

He was always a very academic painter and had no interest in modernism. He became an OBE in 1953 holding his final exhibition in 1970. He died in 1977 at the age of 97.

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