Elizabeth Street, Melbourne, Colin Colahan
  • Artist
    Colin Colahan
  • Born
    1897
  • Died
    1987
  • Title
    Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
  • Date of Production
    1929
  • Medium
    Oil on canvas, mounted on board
  • Dimensions
    46.4 x 38.5 cm
  • Credit Details
    Maud Rowe Bequest, 1937

Colin Colahan

Elizabeth Street, Melbourne

After a brief period at the National Gallery School, Melbourne in 1917, Colin Colahan pursued his art studies at the Max Meldrum School in Elizabeth Street and then, as the class increased in size, at Bourke Street. One of the advantages of Meldrum's tonal method was that a scene or likeness could be captured immediately in the open instead of being worked up later in the studio from sketches. It was this technique that Colahan has used so effectively here.

Following his departure for Europe in 1922 Colahan returned to Australia only once (1927 -1935). It was during this period that he painted this view of Elizabeth Street looking south towards the clock tower of Flinders Street railway station. The painting with its broad and expressive brushwork captures the sense of a frozen moment in a busy city street on a sunny day at a time when motor cars were still something of a novelty.