Australian Impressionist painter Emanuel Phillips Fox was born on 12 March, 1865, to Alexander Fox and Rosetta Phillips, at 12 Victoria Parade in Fitzroy, Melbourne. Fox studied art at the National Gallery School in Melbourne (1878-1886) under G. F. Folingsby; his fellow students included John Longstaff, Frederick McCubbin and Rupert Bunny. In 1886, Fox travelled to Paris and studied at the Académie Julian and École des Beaux-Arts (1887–1890), where his masters included William-Adolphe Bouguereau and Jean-Léon Gérôme.
- Influenced by the school of en plein air Impressionism, Fox exhibited at the Paris Salon (1890), and returned to Melbourne in 1891. The following year, Fox opened the Melbourne Art School with Tudor St George Tucker, where he taught European ideas and techniques.
For many years, Fox spent his time in Melbourne, Paris and London, and in 1894, he became the first Australian to be awarded a third-class gold medal at the Salon. By 1905, Fox met and married fellow artist, Ethel Carrick. After their marriage at St Peter’s Church, Ealing, they toured Italy and Spain, and settled in Paris in 1908. Fox became an associate of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts; and two years later, became a full member of the Société; the first Australian artist to attain that honour. Some of his exhibitions were held at the Royal Academy, the International Society of Painters and on return to Australia, Fox held an exhibition of some seventy works (1913).
- One of his frequent models featured throughout this collection of works was Edith Susan Gerard Anderson (later Edith Boyd). Fox introduced fellow Australian artist, Theodore Penleigh Boyd to Anderson, when Boyd worked in the studio next door to them.
As a model, Anderson was known for her bright red hair, which features in many of Fox’s works. She appeared in up to seven possible paintings in 1912, including The Green Parasol, On the Balcony, Nasturtiums, and Mrs. Penleigh Boyd. (Two of which are featured above).
- Emanuel Phillips Fox sadly died of cancer in a Fitzroy hospital on 8 October, 1915. His wife Ethel Carrick Fox survived him by 36 years.
“Is It Art?”