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The first biography of the outstanding and charming Australian painter Colin Colahan, his rich personal life and work.
Colin Colahan was an Australian painter of outstanding ability and reputation who from the 1920s to the 1970s was remarkably productive.
Colahan was one of the more brilliant pupils of the painter Max Meldrum. Identification with the unfashionable 'Meldrumites' is one explanation for Colahan's disappearance from the public gaze. The other has murkier origins in the still unsolved murder of his girlfriend, Mollie Dean, in 1930. There was nothing of substance to link Colahan to the brutal murder, but fevered public speculation cast a depressing shadow for many years and helped propel him to Europe in 1935. There he stayed for the rest of his long life.
The story of Colahan's personal life is tantalising in itself—three marriages, five children, numerous lovers, beautiful houses in England and Italy, portrait painter of the rich and famous. It was an urbane life. He was a witty, charming, talented man. This intimate, engaging portrait is indeed most welcome, and will restore Colahan's life and work to its rightful place in the history of Australian art.
About the author
Garry Kinnane met Colahan while working on his highly acclaimed book, George Johnston: A Biography (1986), The Age non-fiction book of that year. After many years travelling, working and studying in Europe, Kinnane is now a senior lecturer in the English Department of the University of Melbourne.