Charles Conder
A holiday at Mentone

Gallery 3

About this work of art

Audio description of the work of art

A holiday at Mentone by English-born Australian artist Charles Conder is a landscape format oil painting on canvas. Painted in 1888, it is 46.2 cm high and 60.8 cm wide.

The painting depicts sunny Mentone beach, a holiday destination 21 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, Australia.

Painted in an impressionist style, the paint is applied in small, thin brushstrokes, the woven texture of the canvas showing underneath.

The beach is occupied by multiple subjects, a woman sits on a chair, a man lies on the sand, another man stands looking out to sea, and people walk on the jetty and along the shoreline.

They are all dressed in 1880’s era clothing. Long skirts, parasols and hats for the women. Suits, canes and rounded-crown bowler hats for the men.

The lower half of the painting depicts an expanse of white sand.

In the lower left is the woman. Sitting in a simple wooden deck chair, she looks down at a folded newspaper on her lap. An open red parasol lies upturned on the sand next to the woman.

She wears a brown dress, tight at her slender waist with a high collar and long sleeves, the hem reaches to the ankles of her brown boots. Her red hair is gathered up under a cone-shaped red hat that has a large white feather sticking out the top. An open red parasol lies upturned on the sand next to her.

In the centre of the painting, the man lies on the sand on his left side, his eyes closed with his head on his outstretched arm. He wears a grey suit, brown shoes and hat.

On the right side of the painting the standing man looks to the right, his left foot atop a low mound of sand in front of him. Grasping the front of his pale blue suit jacket, he has white pants, black shoes, and he holds a wooden cane horizontally under his left arm. His black hat casts a shadow across his face and short dark hair.

In the upper half of the painting, is the jetty with the blue sky above. Behind the jetty are sand dunes, the shoreline and the sea.

The deck and handrails of the white wooden jetty are horizontal lines across the width of the painting. Vertical pillars, evenly positioned in pairs, hold the jetty above the sand allowing people to walk underneath.

On the deck, in the upper left of the painting, a bearded man in a blue suit and hat faces three women. One woman wears a grey dress, the other a white one. Tight at the waist, their dresses are striped with red and they wear brimmed straw hats with red ribbon trim. The third woman in a white dress and red peaked hat sits on the bench.

Behind the jetty, is the blue sea where low white waves crash on the shore. The blue sky, with only a small number of white clouds, fills the upper third of the painting.

A square wooden structure stands on the shore in the far right of the painting. Large capital letters on the horizontal slats of the structure partially spell Mentone, M, E and N as only part of the building is in view.

The painting is signed and dated in the lower right corner, ‘Chas Conder 1888’.