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Obituaries Australia

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Fox, Emanuel Phillips (1865–1915)

from Argus (Melbourne)

E. Phillips Fox, n.d.

E. Phillips Fox, n.d.

from Australian Jewish Historical Society Journal, 1939

Mr. Emmanuel Phillips Fox, one of the small band of artists which has made itself felt in the art world outside Australia, died yesterday afternoon at St. Evin's Hospital, Eastern Hill, after an operation. The operation took place about a week ago but Mr Fox's near friends recognised that from the serious nature of his illness, there was very little room for hope.

His work was characterised by excellent draughtsmanship and a fine, full sense of colour and light. It was realistic in tendency—realistic without ever becoming photographic in the slightest degree. Much of the best of it was portraiture and those who know the "Lady in Black" and "Adelaide," in the Sydney Gallery, will know how excellent and how sympathetic his portrait work could be. "The Love Story," in the Melbourne Gallery is a fine example of his outdoor method, full of rich, but restrained colour. His last work was the portrait of Sir John Forrest, painted for the Forrest jubilee committee, in Western Australia, and now hangs in the exhibition of the Australian Artists' Association, at the Athenæum. He finished this picture immediately before he went into hospital, and, in fact during its painting he was suffering considerably, but he stuck to it till the end.

Mr. Fox was 51 years of age, and was born in Melbourne. He studied in the National Gallery classes under Mr. Folingsby, and, leaving for Paris in 1886, entered Julian's Atelier, in Paris. After gaining the first prize for his year in design he went to the Biaux Arts, his master being Gerome, and gained a first studio prize for painting. In 1890 he first exhibited at the Salon. During the same year he returned to Melbourne, and, while exhibiting regularly here, also sent home work to the great French exhibitions. His "Portrait of My Cousin," a fine, sincere piece of portrait composition, won him the gold medal. This was the first time an Australian had gained the distinction. The picture was also exhibited and well hung in the Royal Academy in 1895. In 1900 he left Australia again with a commission from the Gilbey Bequest, to paint a picture of the landing of Captain Cook, which now hangs in the gallery. He lived in London for about three years, painting regularly for the Academy and Salon exhibitions, and in 1905 married Miss Ethel Carrick, a student of the Slade School, London. In the same year he settled in Paris, the atmosphere of which suited and developed his art. He was made an associate the Beaux Arts in 1906 and full "societaire" in 1907. In 1912 he was elected a member of the International Society of Painters.

By his death the art community of Australia is certainly left considerably poorer. His work, however, lives after him, and indicates his character, being sincere and unobtrusive and sympathetic. The artists of Melbourne will certainly feel a deep sense of loss, as one of the most notable of them has gone.

Original publication

  • Argus (Melbourne), 9 October 1915, p 16

Other Obituaries for Emanuel Phillips Fox

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Fox, Emanuel Phillips (1865–1915)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 September 2020.

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