Edmund Gouldsmith

British / Australia, b.1852, d.1932

Pool Near Adelaide

  • Oil on canvas
  • Gifted by R D Thomas to the Canterbury Society of Arts, 1902 and presented to the Gallery in 1932
  • 940 x 1195 x 45mm
  • 69/391

Edmund Gouldsmith held a part-time position as art master at Christ’s College, Christchurch from 1886 and was a working and exhibiting member of the Canterbury Society of Arts before returning to England in 1889. Here Gouldsmith observes how light can enter shaded spaces through reflective surfaces such as a winding brook or a pool acting like a mirror laid flat. The grasses at the water’s edge and sky above are represented below in a poetic manner, the illusion disrupted in a frozen moment by a rippled ring on the water’s surface.

(Endless Light, 29 June 2019 – 8 March 2020)

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • Edmund Gouldsmith lived in Adelaide from 1883 to 1886 and in this painting has captured the strong light and rich, earthy colours of the Australian landscape. Gouldsmith was trained in an academic manner, with an emphasis on careful and faithful representation of the landscape. However, the effects of light on the distant hill and the foliage in Pool near Adelaide show that he was influenced by Naturalism. His treatment of the direct sunlight is slightly looser than other features, such as the rocks in the foreground, which remain relatively tight. Born in Bristol, Gouldsmith studied at the Bristol Government School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools, London. After living in Adelaide, in 1886 he took a part-time position as art master at Christ’s College in Christchurch. Gouldsmith was a working member of the Canterbury Society of Arts in 1887 and exhibited with the Society from 1887 to 1888. He returned to England in 1889. He exhibited with the Royal Academy from 1891 to 1927.