Grace Butler

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1886, d.1962

On the Beach, New Brighton

  • 1916
  • Oil on canvas
  • Christchurch Art Gallery Foundation Collection, purchased 1996
  • 608 x 760mm
  • L79/215
  • View on google maps

Grace Butler was totally committed to painting en plein air, or outdoors, to truly sense and represent the atmospheres that light provided; she would even paint in the snow, placing her feet in boxes and getting her children to rotate hot water bottles and blankets to keep her warm. Completed when she was just two years out of art school and revealing her awareness of the international movement of impressionism, On the Beach, New Brighton reflects Butler’s own thoughts on the light and atmosphere where she lived.

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

Exhibition History

earlier labels about this work
  • This summer scene of New Brighton beach near Christchurch shows the 1916 view looking to the north with the old New Brighton pier, built in 1892, just visible in the distance. This work with its carefully selected colours, looser brushwork and the way in which the marram grasses on the small sandhill and the woman's dress respond to the sea breeze, captures the sensations of the open air, the sunlight and the breeze across the beach. This work was immediately appreciated as a fine local landscape and purchased in 1916 by the Canterbury Society of Arts for its collection. There it remained until 1996 when the Christchurch Civic Art Gallery Trust, with assistance from the Trust Bank Community Trust, purchased it for this Gallery's collection.

    (Label date unknown)