The Balnaves Gift
During the early years of the twentieth century, Elioth Gruner painted with a singular vision, some of the most atmospheric paintings in the entire compass of Australian Art. Taylor’s Bay (1913) is no exception, with its languid mood and stillness and sense of escape – the heat of the midday sun captured with enveloping light, pictorial perfection and technical brilliance. Located between Little Sirius Cove and Chowder Bay, Taylor’s Bay is a south-east facing bay bordered by the densely vegetated slopes of the National Park. In 1913 this quiet bay would have only been accessible by boat or by walking track.
Elioth Gruner was born in Gisborne New Zealand in 1882 and travelled with his family to Sydney in 1883. As a young man Gruner undertook part time instruction with Julian Ashton at the Art Society of New South Wales and later came under the influence of the flamboyant George Lambert who encouraged a more generous application of paint. By 1906 he exhibited regularly with the Society of Artists where he received positive reviews and became a close friend of Norman Lindsay who along with Julian Ashton and Howard Hinton were important early purchasers of his work.
Elioth Gruner painted many scenes of Sydney Harbour en plein air between 1913 and 1928. Taylor’s Bay (1913) was part of a series of beach and coast scenes which were well received were an important part of his early recognition.