James R. Jackson (1882-1975)
Paseo Pollensa, Spain 1907
oil on canvas on board
45.3 x 37.4 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1938
Born 1882, New Zealand. Died 1975, Sydney.
James Ranalph Jackson came to Australia with his widowed father and ten siblings in 1894. He was apprenticed to a decorator and in the evenings studied art under Frank Mahony at the Art Society of New South Wales, and later at the Royal Art Society. In 1906 he went to London and studied at Frank Brangwyn's studio. Fleeing the expense of that city, he joined the Academy Colarossi in Paris. At the age of 25, a year in Europe exposed him to the art of the Impressionists.
It was during this European jaunt that this painting of the Paseo del Puerto Pollensa in Palma, Majorca, was created. It depicts people walking along a stone bridge into town. Deep shadows are cast from the Mediterranean cypress pine trees lining the pathway. Overlooking the valley is a rocky mountain, with a fortress at its apex.
Jackson returned to Sydney in 1908, where he painted many scenes around the harbour to wide acclaim. He joined the Royal Art Society of NSW (RAS) and admired the spontaneity and light in the work of Australian artists such as Roberts and Streeton. He exhibited with the RAS and found a patron in Nellie Melba. Subsequently, his work was purchased by several public galleries in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and America. He taught drawing and painting at the RAS from 1917-26, after which he spent another two years travelling through Europe with his wife, the artist, Dora Toovey. They both exhibited works from this journey when they returned to Sydney.