Lewis, Charles James (1830-92; English)
Mill-race (1865)
Oil on canvas, 61.6 x 102.0 cm
Purchased, 1871
National Gallery of Victoria (p.303.1-1) 

This brooding landscape brings to mind some of the realist novels of the period by George Eliot and Thomas Hardy: is the figure by the river-bank merely melancholy, or contemplating ending it all?

The artist, most of whose work appears to have been sunnier than this example, exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy, and was elected a member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colours in 1882.


AR 1871, p.40; NGV 1875, p.35; NGV 1894, p.95 (IV.McArthur Gallery, no.64: as A Mill Race); not listed in NGV 1905 [£75] 

For the artist (and other examples of his work), see Bénézit 8, pp.953-94; http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/charles-james-lewis-11036; and https://www.pinterest.com/lizzieking/charles-james-lewis/ (not listed in AKL)