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Friström, Claus Edward (New Zealand, b.1864, d.1950), Artist
Maori Hill, Dunedin
oil on canvas
237 x 336 mm sight size
3-1974
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Purchased 1974 with funds from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery Society.
Born in Karlskrona, Sweden, Friström came to Auckland in 1903. The following year he travelled extensively around New Zealand, painting the countryside. After a short trip to Australia, he taught at Auckland’s Elam School of Art around 1911 and left for the United States in 1915. His importance lies in the fresh approach and vigorous style he brought to landscape art in New Zealand. Like the French Impressionists, he made finished paintings en plein air. With vigorous brush strokes, and intense rich colour, he created works on an intimate scale, painting the beauty of the light and vegetation around him.
Maori Hill, Dunedin is a small work, of the scale preferred by Friström, and suggests a winter’s day, with snow-capped mountains in the distance. The foreground depiction of trees and grass is Impressionist in style, with bright yellow brush marks to describe sunshine falling on grass. The deep red, blue and various iridescent greens of the vegetation create a delightful and cohesive landscape in the forefront of the picture plane.

not on view

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