Tag Archives: Aboriginal

1950’s Oil Paintings – Part 2

Last week I shared 2 beautiful original oil paintings depicting a striking Australian outback scene. I asked the question at the end of the post if we knew who the artist was?

Mid century aboriginal art
Artist Julius Szentleleky

Well, as you can see our artists name is Julius Szentleleky. So what do we know about him? Well, a google and trove search only yields 4 results with any relevance.

The earliest, from the Sydney morning herald and dating from 1952 reads –

Show By Julius
The small paintings by Julius Szentleleky at the Grosvenor galleries are quite charming studio gleanings of little consequence in themselves, but of value to the artist.
His large pictures show that forced tonality to be seen alike in primitive and tired painting.
One feels that he can do much better, that indeed it would be unfair to criticise at present. In his sketches there is the material, and some ability. Once the scene has been absorbed, the work of art may follow which,  one trusts, will be soon. 
This show will be opened by Mrs. Quentin Stanham at 3 p.m. today.

The second chronologically listed newspaper article is shown below.

Barrier Miner

Barrier Miner Article

And thats it, all that I can currently find online about our artist, up until 2005 where the Heide Museum of Modern Art added one of Julius’ artworks to their collection –

- Szentleleky, Julius
Peer gynt 1953
oil on composition board
71.9 x 54.6 cm

So where does that leave us with our 2 paintings? Well we know he was active during the early 1950’s, which does appear to conflict with the $60 price tag on the rear of one painting (as decimal currency didn’t come about until 1963) however this could be easily enough explained – perhaps he wanted to move on some of his art later on in life (shed clean out/exhibiting in a small gallery somewhere, etc). The trip to Broken Hill is interesting as it does state he painted, and exhibited landscapes of the surrounding countryside, whilst the Sydney article talks about ‘the small paintings’ – very much like these 2. The ‘oil on composition board’ painting that the Heide Museum acquired dating from 1953 also matches the medium of these 2 paintings.

So with all that information I’m pretty confident to say that these 2 paintings would date from the 1950’s and are original works. It’s nice to know a little of the story of the artist behind the artwork. Whether or not it adds value to the item I think is insignificant, it’s the link that each one of us build in our own way that matters most.

1950’s Oil Paintings – Part 1

I thought tonight I’d share something that caught me off guard a little.

Aboriginal Head
1950’s Oil Painting

As you can see above, we have an original oil painting on what appears to be a composite board (think masonite). Dating from what I’d imagine to be the 1950’s I love the nice earthy colours and the expression on the Aboriginals face. To me I picture him sitting down, shoulders slightly rolled forwards, arms resting on his legs and he’s about to start telling an interesting, but hard story.

Now the ‘Aboriginal Head’ (title) painting above was only 1 of 2. There is another.

Mid Century Art
Original painting – Aboriginal in the red outback.

This painting, shares the same earthy colours, however appears to be a little more refined (texture of the board is smoother). Our Aboriginal friend in this one though is standing tall, broad shoulders with a stern look on his face. Again, a nice piece in it’s own right.

However, put the 2 side by side and watch the magic happen!

Mid Century Aboriginal Paintings
2 x original oil paintings. Circa 1950’s.

All of a sudden, the two seperate paintings become one. The frames disappear and we’re left with a gorgeous panoramic image! Amazingly beautiful.

So, do we know who the artist is? Sure do, but you’ll have to wait till part 2 to find out.


Tonight I thought I’d share a few pictures of some Essexware mugs I currently have listed on eBay..

Mid Century Pottery

Now without going into to much detail Essexware was a ‘brand’ of pottery dating from the late 1940’s through until 1957 when unfortunately their buildings/studio’s were burnt down during bush fires. The owners decided to return home to England after losing everything and cease creating these beautiful pieces of pottery which has ultimately lead to Essexware becoming so collectable.

If you look at the mugs above they are beautifully decorated with Aboriginal scenes and art and although the colours are not overly bright, they combine so well to really make the images stand out. All of this was hand painted of course!

For more detailed information on Essexware I highly recommend visiting 2 blogs I found during my research. The first being http://essexwareponderings.wordpress.com/ whilst the second is http://www.rameking.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/essexware.html