Thomas Dean came to Australia on the Commonwealth, a colonial vessel making the voyage from England to Sydney. Like many artists before him, he started life in Australia as labourer or more specifically a railway fettler. Travelling across New South Wales, Dean started taking and developing photographs which later led to an interest in painting after he befriended an itinerant painter.
Despite railway fettling consuming most of his time, Dean persevered with painting. By the 1890's, he had begun exhibiting with the Art Society of NSW to high praise. Never dwelling on life on the rails, his melancholic pastoral landscapes and portraits of women instead epitomised the low-keyed romanticism of the late 19th century.
Dean is remembered as a man with few vices and a penchant for poetry and music. His life was spent between the slog of manual labour and his love of art, producing work imbued with a gentle, patriotic charm.
In 'The Harpist', Thomas Dean captures one his favourite subjects - a Traves sister from Kogarah, as she plucks a harp. This model, along with her four sisters were popular subjects for artists during this period. In fact, they frequently re-appear in Dean’s work, most notably as the star of his large religious scene 'The Light Beyond' (1910).
This portrait, created at the turn of the century sings of a young nation brimming with optimism. It’s creator, who shared these traits, led life with a zeal for adventure, following his heart at every opportunity. Follow your heart and collect this historically rich, rare painting.
Thomas DEAN (1857 - 1947)
'The Harpist' 1904
oil on canvas
Image Size: 150 x 112 cm
Dimensions: 162 x 125 x 12 cm
Signed: signed lower right T.Dean and dated 1904
Comes with Letter of Provenance
Availability: in stock
Condition:Very Good: Describes a work of art’s image As New, but may show some small signs of surrounding wear. There are no tears to paper margin or disruption to paint surface. Image is in Fine condition.
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