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H.A. Hanke (1901-1989)
The Rock Pool, Balmoral 1946
oil on canvas
45.4 x 55.7 cm
Gift of Howard Hinton 1946            

 

Born 1901, Sydney. Died 1989, Sydney.

Henry Aloysius Hanke studied at the J.S. Watkins School, Sydney and in 1922, became an exhibiting member of the Royal Art Society of NSW, painting portraits, landscapes and still life. He won the Archibald Prize in 1934 for one of his self portraits, and the inaugural Sulman Prize in 1936. 

Known as “Harry” to his friends, Hanke served in the Military History section of the Australian Imperial Force in WWII, during which time he completed many paintings in New Guinea.

Howard Hinton was a big supporter of this artist, donating thirteen of his oil paintings over a decade to the Armidale Teachers' College. In this work, two female figures sit on the rocks, enjoying the sun and sea breeze. One has discarded her shoes. They are both dressed in a recognisably post-WWII style—one with a small pillbox hat, the other with a large ribbon in her hair. There are two small figures traversing the rocks on the shadier side of the inlet. The ripples on the water and the weathered rocks are painted in a sketchy, impressionistic style. There's only a suggestion of the features on the right-hand woman's face.