Army on Parade

Wesley Penberthy’s oil and tempera painting, Army on Parade, vividly captures the colour and drama of Salvation Army bands on the march where ordinary people, haberdashers, housewives, bank officers, dentists and students marched together behind the flag, “up the path that the master trod, marching, marching on.”

He painted murals for the Little Bourke Street and Moreland Corps. A realist painter in the European tradition, his paintings and murals are in commercial and private collections in Australia, Europe and the USA. He won the prestigious Sulman prize in 1955.

Wesley is listed in major Australian art reference books, including Alan McCulloch’s Encyclopedia of Australian art. His relationship with fellow artist David Boyd during World War 2 is described in some detail in Boyd’s recently published biography, An open house, that includes references to his Salvation Army background.

Brian Lewis, former Emeritus professor of Architecture at Melbourne University talks of Wesley’s hauntingly beautiful works, describing him as a master craftsman with an unrivalled knowledge of the painting techniques of Rembrandt and Rubens. Wesley lectured at Melbourne and Monash universities and ACER.

“He is a painter for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration”.  .  . Paul Fitzgerald

“He can create the glowing luminosity of a priceless Rembrandt”.  .  . The Australian.

Wesley studied under Norman Lindsay and was the first post-war rehabilitation student at the Melbourne National Gallery School