The Conversation, painting by George Bell
George Bell studied at the National Gallery of Victoria School under Bernard Hall and Frederick McCubbin before continuing his studies in Europe in the early 1900's. The Conversation was painted during this European period and was then exhibited at the Modern Society of Portrait Painters, the 1911 Paris Salon and Bell’s first exhibition in Melbourne. A formal composition, it was praised by Arthur Streeton for the ‘vigour of the brushwork...charm of the colour (and) strength of drawing.’ It is believed to depict the artists George Lambert and Thea Proctor, along with Amy Lambert, the artist’s wife. Lambert and Proctor were friends and colleagues during the years they both spent in London, and were to jointly set up the Contemporary Art Group in Australia in 1926.