Frederick Vincent Ellis

British, b.1892, d.1961

Night Fall On The Sabine Hills, Rome

  • Oil on board
  • 495 x 570mm
  • 89/136
  • 1921

The hazy calm of Fred Ellis’s view of hills near Rome, painted in 1921, belies the difficulty of his preceding years. After winning a scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art in London in 1914, West Yorkshire-born Ellis was called to war. He served four years as a gunner in France, where (like many others) he suffered from being gassed. He completed his art training in 1920 and gained a travelling scholarship that allowed him a year working in Italy and France. Ellis relocated to New Zealand for his health under the art educational La Trobe scheme in 1922, teaching for three years at the School of Art in Dunedin before moving to Wellington. After three years with the New Zealand Railways advertising staff from 1928, he returned to teaching at Wellington Technical College, becoming head of art from 1939–59. Ellis was a prolific, respected stained glass window designer, and a teacher whose students included Don Peebles, Gordon Walters and John Drawbridge.

(The Weight of Sunlight, 16 September 2017 - 16 September 2018)