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George James Coates (1869–1930)

from Sydney Morning Herald

The death has occurred of Mr. George James Coates, the Australian artist.

Mr. Coates was born at Melbourne in 1869. He showed his leaning towards an artistic career at the age of 11 years, and his parents gave him his chance, with the result that, in his early twenties, he won the Victorian Travelling Scholarship, and set out for Europe. In Paris he studied under Jean Paul Laurens, Constant, and others. Between 1897 and 1900 he exhibited in the Salon des Artistes Française (the old Salon), and then went to London, where he and his wife (formerly Miss Dora Meeson) were engaged upon illustrations for the Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Historians' History of the World, and from time to time contributed to the Royal Academy and the Paris Salon. In 1912 his group, "The Walker Brothers," exhibited in the new Salon, brought him an associateship. At a Grand International Exhibition at Pittsburg in 1920 his work was awarded a Diploma of Honour. Mr. Coates was official war artist to both the Canadian and the Australian Commonwealth Governments. For the latter he painted portraits of General Sir Neville Smyth, V.C., Captain Jacka, the first Australian V.C., General Griffiths, in charge at Australian headquarters in London, General Tivey, General Foott, and other wartime personalities. These now hang in the War Museum. During the war Mr. Coates served for four years in the R.A.M.C. He was a member of many of the London art societies, such as the Royal Portrait Society (of which he was a councillor), the International Society and the National Portrait Society. Two years ago he took an active part in the formation of the London Portrait Society. He painted a portrait of Lord Northcote, as Governor-General of Australia, for the national historical collection to be housed at Canberra. In 1921 he and his wife (who is also a noted artist, belonging to the Royal Institute of Oil Pointings in London, and the Mural Decoration and Tempero Society), revisited Australia. They held exhibitions of their work in Sydney. Mr. Coates is represented in the National Gallery of New South Wales, and was an honorary member of the Society of Artists.

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'Coates, George James (1869–1930)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

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