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Adrian Feint (1894-1971)
Bowl of Flowers 1939
oil on canvas
50.5 x 45.4 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1939

 

Born 1894, Narrandera, NSW. Died 1971, Sydney.

As a young man Adrian Feint was interested in drawing. After leaving school he enrolled at the Sydney Art School and was taught by Julian Ashton and Elioth Gruner. In 1919, while on service with the army, he was granted three months leave to study in Paris. After the war, Feint produced decorations and cover illustrations for magazines, wood engravings and etchings. His bookplates for many notable people, including the Duke and Duchess of York, attracted local and international attention. Following Howard Hinton's donation of over 700 books to create an art library at the Armidale Teachers' College, Feint designed an elaborate bookplate featuring an image of the grand building.

In later life Feint was able to devote more of his time to oil painting. He is known for his still life and flower pictures but also for landscapes. His work shows a high degree of execution, subtle use of colour and compositions which reveal a knowledge of cubism and surrealism. His 1939 solo exhibition of flower paintings at the Grosvenor Gallery was an outstanding success.

Bowl of Flowers shows brightly-coloured flowers in a pewter vessel. The jonquils, pansies, hyacinths, and anemones stand out against the bland grey wall and small brown table. The fairly flat composition is enlivened with a small sea shell and the dent in the shiny, engraved metalware. In contrast to its present (less accurate) title, this work was listed as 'Flowers in a Pewter Pot' belonging to the Howard Hinton Collection, Armidale (20”x18”) in the artist's monograph of 1948 Flower Paintings. When it arrived in Armidale in 1939 this work was hung in the Supper Room. In 1959 it was listed as hanging in the Staff Common Room of the Armidale Teachers' College, along with Dobell's Carnival.