Charles Conder

The Plum Tree


Not on display

Charles Conder 1868–1909
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 800 × 451 mm
Bequeathed by Arthur Studd 1919

Display caption

Conder was trained in Sydney and Melbourne, and in 1890 moved to Paris. In Australia he was already known as an Impressionist, for his decorative and delicately coloured landscapes. These were inspired in part by Whistler, whose work was known in Australia from prints. 'The Plum Tree' was one of his first paintings in France. The way he concentrates on the flowers, as if illustrating Spring, reflects his interest in symbolism. The painting is dedicated to Arthur Studd, an English painter also working in Paris, who was an associate both of Whistler and Gauguin.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

N03423 THE PLUM TREE 1891
Inscr. ‘Charles Conder To my friend Studd The Plum Tree April 1891’ b.l.
Canvas, 31 1/2×17 3/4 (80×45).
Bequeathed by Arthur Studd 1919.
Coll: Presented by the artist to Arthur Studd 1891.
Exh: Tate Gallery, July–September 1927 (78).
Lit: Gibson, 1914, p.34; Rothenstein, 1938, p.259.

Conder spent the spring and summer of 1891 in Normandy. He had exhibited paintings of blossoms at Père Thomas's Gallery, Paris, in March 1891, but these may have included some painted in Australia, where he first began to paint trees in blossom. Conder met Arthur Studd, the painter, in Paris, where he settled in August 1890. (See also N04221.)

Published in:
Mary Chamot, Dennis Farr and Martin Butlin, The Modern British Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, London 1964, I


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