Bertram Dumbleton was born in 1896 in George, Cape Province. He trained at the Regent Street Polytechnic in London and the Academic Julian in Paris. During his periods in England, he exhibited at the RA in London. Both of the works featured here were shown on SASA exhibitions in the 1940s and were subsequently acquired by the SANG. They demonstrate his command of fine techniques in oil and tempera. A London Tea Shop, painted in England in about 1937, consists of a long horizontal panel painted in egg tempera. It was inspired by his study of predella panels from altarpieces by Renaissance artists that were exhibited in London in the 1930s. Abdul is a further exploration of Renaissance conventions in portraiture using a young sitter from Cape Town's Muslim community. Dumbleton lived intermittently in England and SA before 1938. At the time that these works were exhibited in Cape Town, he was a lecturer at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art. James Eddie (qv.) was a friend with whom he shared his interest in fine painting techniques. In 1942 he exhibited a portrait of Eddie on the SASA 38th Annual Exhibition. Although his technique loosened in later years, Dumbleton remained artistically conservative and at times clashed with critics who bemoaned the predominance of amateurs on SASA exhibitions. (The Cape Times, 7.3.1944). He died in Cape Town 1966.
Exhibitor on SASA-reldted exhibitions c.1898 . 1950: 1922: SASA 21st Annual Exh., RH, City Hall, Darling St., 30 Jan. -18 Feb. 1923: SASA 22nd Annual Exh. , RH. City Hall, Darling St.. 8th Feb. 1924: SASA 23rd Annual Exh., Drill Hall, Darling St., 28 Jan. 1924: SASA 24th Annual Exh., RH, City Hall, 4 Dec. 1938: SASA sect., with NA, 8th Annual Exh. ofContemp. Art, SANG, 15 Dec- 15 Feb. 1939. 1940: SASA 37th Annual Exh., AG, Burg St., 29 Jan- 10 Feb. 1941: SASA 38th Annuai Exh., SANG, 17 Feb.- 31 Mar. 1942: SASA 39th Annual Exh., SANG, 23 Feb. - 18 Apr. 1943: SASA 40th Annual Exh., (in comb. with NSA) SANG, I Feb. 1944: 41st Annual Exh. afSA Contemp. Art, org. by SASA with other Societies, SANG, 25 Feb. 1945: SASA Members' Exh., Ashbey's Gall., Church St., 10-24 Sep. 1946: 43rd Annual Exh. ofContemp. SAAtt.arr. by SASA with NSA, MMG, 5-23 Apr. 1950: SASA 47th Annual Exh., MMG, (no specific dates), May.