About the Artist
Colin Cuthbert Orr Colahan (1897 – 1987), was an Australian painter and sculptor.
1921-27 he lived and travelled in England, France and Spain , studied the classical masters and developed his technique, showing his work in London and Paris.
He returned to Melbourne, where his reputation grew and his work matured. His subjects included landscapes, streetscapes, portraits and nude studies.
In 1935 Colahan suddenly departed again for England, where he built a reputation as a portrait painter. His more notable subjects included George Bernard Shaw,
Colahan was appointed an Australian official war artist in 1942 and became the first president of the Australian Artists’ Association, London, in 1952.
Moving to Italy in 1958, Colahan continued to paint portraits and landscapes, and in the late 1960s he turned to sculpture, producing over thirty works, including the `Sirena’ fountain for the Italian town of Bordighera, and a head of Victor Smorgon, bought by the National Gallery of Victoria.
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,
His work can be found in the collections of the State galleries of Melbourne, Adelaide and Brisbane.