The Balnaves Gift
View of Mosman (1940) is a view from the artist’s home in Mosman looking into Sydney Harbour. It is a superb example of Meere’s stylish and sophisticated oeuvre with its sense of design, cool clarity of form and sense of stillness and quiet.
Charles Meere was born in England in 1890 and trained as a mural artist at the Royal College of Art and exhibited with the Royal Academy in London, the Society of Scottish Artists and the Glasgow Institute. A Neo-classicist in style his artworks were immaculate in their presentation of imagery. He settled in Australia in 1933 firstly at Randwick and later at Mosman. He was readily accepted into the Sydney art world and started a commercial art studio. Meere also taught anatomy and composition at East Sydney Technical College and later joined the staff of the Sydney Morning Herald as an illustrator.
Meere painted landscapes throughout his career, although these were primarily for pleasure, as portraiture provided his main income. View of Mosman (1940) is a very stylish example of his firmly structured and smoothly finished modernist style where the natural and built environments are brought together in a harmonious and balanced composition.
Meere is renowned in Australian art history for his heroic and iconic 1938 painting Australian Beach Pattern. For this work Meere produced a neo-classical interpretation of Sydney outdoor life which embodied the associated national attributes of a healthy lifestyle and athletic prowess. Meere was awarded the 1938 Sulman Prize and the 1951 Wynne Prize. Today Charles Meere is acknowledged as an artist whose style remained true to his own unique artistic vision.