The Close of an Autumn Day – Waikato River
More in line with paintings by Albin Martin and William George Baker, this scene of figures on the banks of the Waikato River is unusually dramatic for Frank Wright. The dusky light and deep shadows create an air of suspense that belies the banal nature of the subject.
Frank Wright (1860–1923), along with his brother Walter, came to Auckland from Nottinghamshire, with their mother in 1877. Although he initially worked as a furniture packer, Frank was, alongside his brother, a quiet, somewhat shy gentleman who was determined to make a living through art. Subsequently the two brothers became professional painters, selling works to tourists and teaching classes of young women. While exhibiting regularly for many years in the Auckland Society of Arts, their paintings were shown alongside luminaries such as Goldie, Frances Hodgkins and John Weeks. Both brothers were keen landscape photographers who used such images to plan the paintings they made in their studios. In 1908 they published ‘New Zealand’, a book of 75 colour reproductions with a text by William Pember Reeves, and their watercolours were included in the publication ‘Oceania’.
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492 x 750mm (image)