Fred WILLIAMS | Upwey landscape

Australia 1927 – Australia 1982
England 1951-56

Upwey landscape 1965
oil on canvas
signed and dated: l.r 'Fred Williams 65'
147.5 (h) x 183.3 (w) cm
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Felton Bequest 1965
© estate of Fred Williams


Fred Williams and his family moved to the Upwey region in 1963. Their home was located on a hill and looked up to the horizon. A characteristic feature of the Upwey paintings is the definite balancing horizon; a precise division between heavily worked grounds and clear, luminous skies inflected with lively little plant-like notations.

Upwey Landscape 1965 is one of his strongest paintings in the series that reveals his distinctive way of engaging with place as well as the inspiration of the French painter Gustave Courbet. The dark tonal range and bold painterly approach invest the work with gravitas. This work has become well known over the years as a ‘classic’ example of Fred Williams’s works of the 1960s.

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