Bell, Eleanor (active c.1875-85?; English)
Grandmother’s Reading Lesson (c.1880)
Oil on canvas, 74.7 x 106.2 cm
Presented by friends of the artist, 1885
National Gallery of Victoria (p.311.2-1)

Little appears to be known about the painter of this Rembrandt-esque canvas, although NGV 1894 indicates that she studied in Munich with a certain Joseph Flügen, and “resided for a time in Melbourne.”

Several other paintings by her are extant, including one in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (The Burgomaster). 


AR 1885, p.36; NGV 1894, p.82 (IV.McArthur Gallery, no.38: recording the artist’s given name as Elinor); NGV 1905, p.90 (III.McArthur Gallery, no.29) 

For the artist, see Bénézit 2, p.60; AKL 8 (1994), p.405; and (all suggesting slightly different dates of activity). For The Burgomaster (AGNSW no.779, dated to the 1870s-80s; with illustration), see See also (regarding an 1879 painting, Feeding the Chickens, auctioned in Amsterdam in 2011; with reproduction)