• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • pinterest
  • Tumblr
  • Flickr
  • Youtube
  • eNews

AME Bale

AME_Bale_Leisure_moments_1902.jpg

AME Bale | Australia 1875–1955 | Leisure moments 1902 | Oil on canvas | 148.3 x 118.2cm | Purchased 1973 | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

AME Bale Leisure moments 1902
AME Bale
Australia 1875–1955
Leisure moments 1902
Oil on canvas
Purchased 1973
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery

AME Bale

Leisure moments 1902

In Leisure moments, AME Bale follows the tradition of students of the National Gallery School, Melbourne, in producing a large narrative painting. The painting represents the newly acquired independence of Australian women, but it is also an intimate portrayal of the artist’s lifestyle. It very probably depicts Bale’s own studio ― the artist may be the figure wearing a painting smock in the centre of the composition. The seated figure reading has been identified as Violet Bowes-Kelly, a fellow student. 

Although the work depicts a bowl of flowers and a decorative vase, we see no evidence of the domestic felicities such as sewing or tending children that were often the subject of paintings at the time. These women, who are seemingly oblivious to the viewer, are positioned as educated, cultured women. Three books are incorporated into the painting, and a paint brush, representing the women’s vocation, is casually discarded on the floor.