Arnold Jarvis (1881-1951) – rare large watercolour, English Thatch Cottage with Steamship, c. 1910

$2,450.00 AUD

Arnold Jarvis (1881-1951)

English Thatch Cottage with Steamship,

a panoramic coastal view with an English thatch cottage on the right, within wildflower garden with chickens in the foreground, the left portion merging to Australian bush, a central vista to the coast reminiscent of the Victorian South Coast, with a large steamship on the horizon.

Signed lower left,

circa 1910


Work 46x72cm

Good condition with some minor signs of age, unframed

This fascinating example of Arnold Jarvis’s work is perhaps unique, having a very classic ‘English Cottage’ combined with his more usual Australian scenery. The positioning of it – actually only half-on the paper to the right – perhaps indicates this is not a simple ‘pretty picture’. Similar artists painted works depicting English Cottages at the same time, and they were very popular in the exhibitions held in Australia in the later 19th & earlier 20th century. Catalogues list artists like Miles Birket Foster, who specialised in English Cottage watercolours, alongside the likes of Arnold Jarvis and the other classic Australian artists. The audience flocking to these shows was predominantly English born, or had parents who were, and therefore the nostalgia of these very English scenes was the driving force behind their popularity.

Arnold Jarvis, however, was one of the very Australian- oriented artists, and his immense volume of work is predominantly Australian gumtrees with sweeping vistas of semi-cultivated land. The other small group of Jarvis’s work are the coastal scenes, often with a ship on the horizon. With this work, Jarvis has shown that yes, he can depict an English Cottage if needed – but while the classic English artists would make their cottage the front-central focus, he has pushed it to the far right. The central portion is a distant view that is familiar to anyone along Victoria’s ‘Surf Coast’, the place where Jarvis spent a lot of time. The open paddock with cows leading to tee-tree scrub and a hint of sand dunes, along with the reddish colour of the distant headland, are typical of the area. The scruffy trees that make up the far left are not at all English in nature, but typical of any nondescript Australian bush scene. The gums he loved to paint so much would never grow in this coastal position, but the foliage shown – along with the dead branches – is typical of something like the Blackwoods growing in the region.

The work is therefore a merging of the ‘Old Country’ with the ‘New’ – England and Australia. The steamship is the lifeline between the two – steaming along the distant horizon, heading to or from Australia.




In stock

SKU: 1031799 Categories: , , ,