Story: Painting

Robert N. Field, 'Christ at the well of Samaria'

Robert N. Field, 'Christ at the well of Samaria'

Robert Field painted this on the servery door of his Dunedin house in 1929, four years after he had arrived in New Zealand under the La Trobe scheme to bring art teachers from Britain. It was an imaginative piece in which Field left the grain of the wood visible to suggest the texture of Christ's hair. The inventive character of the work and the unusual perspective were expressive of an artist who was well acquainted with contemporary developments in modern art. For example the pointillist (dotted) technique in the middle section of the work was evocative of paintings by French artist Georges Seurat. Toss Woollaston, who studied under Field in Dunedin, recalled, 'His pictures, brilliant and heady, were painted with jewel-like, full-sized brush strokes, or with rainbow-like spots and scales of pure paint shimmering on unpainted backgrounds of wood or canvas.'

Using this item

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
Reference: 1972-0016-1
Oil on board by Robert Nettleton Field

Permission of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

Courtesy of the Robert N. Field estate

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How to cite this page:

Jock Phillips, 'Painting - Problems of isolation, 1900 to 1940', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/artwork/45883/robert-n-field-christ-at-the-well-of-samaria (accessed 17 September 2019)

Story by Jock Phillips, published 22 Oct 2014