Boatsheds Early Morning artwork by Clarice Beckett

Boatsheds Early Morning

Clarice Beckett, c. 1930

  • Born Casterton, Victoria 1887 
  • Died Melbourne 1935
  • Oil on board
  • 49.1 x 59.3 cm  

About the painting

At midnight on 30th November 1934, a ferocious storm swept through Port Phillip Bay. This tempest left 34 people dead statewide and 3,000 homeless in Melbourne alone. In this painting, Clarice Beckett captured Chandler's boatsheds after the devastation.

She went out in the dawn light whilst the seas were still raging to capture the boatsheds being destroyed by the storm's waves. She then climbed to the other side of the bay to paint the submerged sheds.

About the artist

Beckett was born in Casterton, Victoria. Her grandfather was John Brown, a Scottish master builder who had designed and built Como House and its gardens in South Yarra, Victoria.

She went to Melbourne’s National Gallery School in 1914, completing three years of study under Frederick McCubbin before continuing her studies under Max Meldrum.

In 1919 her parents moved from Bendigo to the Bayside suburb of Beaumaris and with their health failing, Beckett assumed household responsibilities.

Lacking a studio at home, Beckett constructed a mobile cart for her art materials. She was a familiar sight in the Bayside region as she trudged through all kinds of extreme of weather to fulfil her painting passon.

Beckett is recognised as one of Australia's most important modernist artists. She relentlessly painted sea and beachscapes, rural and suburban scenes, often enveloped in the atmospheric effects of early mornings or evening.

Page last updated: 10 Dec 2013