Tudor Village (1986)

Synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 163 x 162

Signed on verso

Private collection, Melbourne

This canvas was first shown in the ‘5AR: Artists and Architects 86’ exhibition at the University of Melbourne’s George Paton Gallery in June 1986, where it was listed as ‘Tudor Village coloured,’ to distinguish it from its black-and-white pendant, Model Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens (1986). Later in 1986, it reappeared, on its own, in Arkley’s ‘Recent Paintings’ show at Tolarno Galleries, among a rich array of urban and suburban images. Slides in Arkley’s archive document the work at Tolarno.

Both 1986 canvases, as the George Paton exhibition catalogue explained, relate to the miniature Tudor Village in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens, a gift from England in 1948, reciprocating Australian generosity during World War II. A late-night visit to the site apparently suggested to Arkley a ‘Gothic’ approach, based on mock-Tudor and related sources in his collection, especially children’s book illustrations and colouring books (for further comments on Arkley’s sources, see my 2019 Menzies catalogue essay on this painting’s monochrome twin, as cited below).

One of only four paintings in the 1986 Tolarno exhibition that did not sell, it was later sold by Niagara Gallery, May 1990. A receipt issued to the purchasers describes it as ‘Untitled (Gingebread {sic} House)’ – a fanciful title suggested by Arkley himself, according to Niagara director Bill Nuttall (in comments forwarded by Annette Larkin, June 2023). A viewing of the painting in June 2023 confirmed the identification; many thanks to the owners for providing additional information and the photograph shown here.

[original entry 2010; updated July 2023]


  • Tolarno Galleries, 1986
  • Auctioned by Rushton’s, Sydney, 20 Nov.1989, lot 65: est.$6-8,000, but not sold (thanks to Geoffrey Smith for information on this auction, 2005)
  • Niagara Gallery, 1990
  • Purchased from the above by the present owners, May 1990


  • ‘5AR’, George Paton Gallery, Melb. Uni., 6/86 (as Tudor Village coloured)
  • HA Tolarno 9/86, cat.10 (as Tudor Village)


  • Val Austin (ed.) 5AR: Artists and Architects ’86 [Special Catalogue Issue of Transition No.17]. Melbourne: George Paton Gallery, 1986.
  • Carnival 26-8 and Fig.1.15 (reproducing this work from one of Arkley’s archive slides)
  • Menzies auction catalogue, 26 Sept.2019, lot 32: Howard Arkley Model Tudor Village, Fitzroy Gardens 1986 (with linked essay by John Gregory on Arkley’s treatment of the Tudor subject): see https://www.menziesartbrands.com/blog-post/32-howard-arkley-model-tudor-village-fitzroy-gardens-1986