14 facts about Colin Colahan

By Gwylym Owen

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Colin Cuthbert Orr Colahan (12 February 1897, Woodend, Victoria – 6 June 1987, Ventimiglia) was an Australian painter and sculptor. While a student in Melbourne, and united Max Meldrum’s university of painting and later became a key figure of the Australian tonalist movement.

Colahan created the ‘Sirena’ fountain for the Italian town of Bordighera. His sculpture of the head of Victor Smorgon was bought by the National Gallery of Victoria. His put it on can be found in the collections of the welcome galleries of Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane. He was appointed an Australian recognized war artist in 1942.

A portrait in oil of F. Matthias Alexander (of “Alexander technique” fame), painted by Colahan to commemorate the subject’s 80th birthday, was shown on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow programme in May 2013, when it was nevertheless in the possession of the son of the wife of Alexander’s nephew.

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