- FOX, Emanuel Phillips (1865-1915)
- artistwas born at Melbourne on 12 March 1865, the son of Alexander Fox, photographer, who had married Rosetta Phillips. The boy's first education was at the model school, Melbourne, which was followed by private tuition, and he then began his art studies at the national gallery, Melbourne, under G. F. Folingsby (q.v.). Among his fellow students were (Sir) John Longstaff (q.v.), Frederick McCubbin (q.v.), David Davies (q.v.) and Rupert Bunny. In 1886 he went to Paris and worked first at Julien's Atelier, where he gained first prize in his year for design, and then tinder Gérôme at the Beaux Arts where he was awarded a first prize for painting. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1890 and in the same year returned to Melbourne. In 1894 he was awarded a gold medal of the third class at Paris for his "Portrait of My Cousin" now in the national gallery of Victoria. In Melbourne he established a school of art in conjunction with Tudor St George Tucker (q.v.), and had a considerable influence as a teacher on Australian art at this period. In 1901 he was given a commission under the Gilbee bequest to paint an historical picture of "The Landing of Captain Cook" for the Melbourne gallery. One of the conditions of the bequest was that the picture must be painted overseas and Fox accordingly left for London. In 1905 he married Ethel Carrick an artist of ability. They settled in Paris and in 1908 Fox was elected an associate of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts. He returned to Melbourne on a visit in that year and held a successful one man show at the Guildhall gallery. Two years later he became a full member of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts, the first Australian artist to attain that honour. He was also exhibiting regularly at the Royal Academy. In 1912 he was elected a member of the International Society of Painters and in the same year spent some time painting in Spain and Algeria. In 1913 he returned to Australia and held successful one man shows. He died on 8 October 1915. Mrs Fox survived him, but there were no children.Fox was modest, unobtrusive and completely sincere. His drawing was good, his colour beautiful, and his open-air groups were full of light and atmosphere. He was much influenced by French painting at the end of the nineteenth century and fully realized the good effect of the impressionists on that period. His portraits were excellent, soundly drawn and modelled, and showing great appreciation of the characters of the sitters. One of the most distinguished of Australian artists, he is represented in the Luxembourg gallery, Paris, in the national galleries at Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth, and at Canberra.The Argus, Melbourne, 9 October 1915; The Age, Melbourne, 22 October 1932; W. Moore, The Story of Australian Art; The Book of the Public Library of Victoria; private information.
Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. Angus and Robertson. 1949.
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