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Adrian Feint (1894-1971)
Formal Flowerpiece 1941
oil on canvas
65.8 x 55.6 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1941   


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

An admirable designer, he had the prestigious task of creating 18 cover illustrations for Ure Smith's The Home magazine (1927-39). He was also highly praised for his bookplate designs. As a member and exhibitor of the Society of Artists, Feint was considered a tastemaker and advocate for the “safely new” when there was much concern by traditionalists about the corruption of art by abstraction.

This work, Formal Flowerpiece, was pictured as Plate 25 in the artist's 1948 monograph Flower Paintings, published by Ure Smith. The book shows the often very elaborate settings for Feint's flowers in vases, with striking effects in the sky, detailed objects and furnishings to the side of the main subject.

In this work Feint has depicted arum lilies, honeysuckles, magnolias and irises in a Grecian style vase. A theatrical effect is created with the salmon-coloured curtains, dark background and jutting stage-like platform. The artist shows his skills with depth and lighting in the fluting on the pedestal of the vase and the curling of the paper.