( Spring Hill with Figures )

Charles Blackman

( Spring Hill with Figures ) by Charles Blackman


Charles Blackman
( Spring Hill with Figures )
oil on composition board
62 x 74.5 cm

© Charles Blackman/Licensed by Viscopy, 2016

Stock Number

Enquire about this artwork


the artist
Barbara Blackman
Eastgate Gallery, Melbourne
private collection, Melbourne
Melbourne Fine Art Gallery, Melbourne
private collection, Melbourne


Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, 7 Nov 2015 - 31 Jan 2016

Further Information

Blackman had an ongoing connection with Queensland, first visiting Brisbane in 1948 where he saw the work of Sidney Nolan and then living in the sunny state over different periods. Those early days provided Blackman with many important influences, connections and friendships, including meeting Barbara, whom he would marry in 1951. The couple travelled regularly to see Barbara’s mother in Brisbane, making their first trip in 1952, with Charles inspired to paint the tropical ‘suburban illuminations’¹ viewed from the flat window in Kelvin Grove, Spring Hill including the “slanting, slatting latticed timber houses.”²

This is a pivotal early painting where we can see Blackman defining his own artistic voice and establishing many fundamental elements of his work. The shadowy figures are a precursor to later works, as well as the juxtaposition and ambiguity of the gaze, the sense of both looking in and out. The figures also evoke a feeling of unease; this brooding sense of menace being explored more powerfully in many of the Schoolgirl images. The geometric vigour in the painting, although inspired by the typical Queenslander house, becomes a defining feature of Blackman’s work.


“I think that Queensland probably had the best influence on me as a person, its sunshine and its lightness and its colour”³


¹. St John Moore, Felicity, Charles Blackman: Schoolgirls and Angels, National Gallery of Victoria, 1993, p.17

². Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, 2015, p. 12

³. Lure of the Sun: Charles Blackman in Queensland, Queensland Art Gallery, 2015, p. 16

Related work:
(Self-Portrait in front of a boarding house, Spring Hill), 1951 in the collection of the Queensland Art Gallery