The seventh child of a Jewish photographer in Australia, Fox began drawing classes young and entered the National Gallery School in Melbourne under O R Campbell and George Folinsby (1878-86). In 1887 he was in Europe studying at the Academie Julian and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1889). He is recorded as an early member of the New English Art Club (founded in 1886 with a number of Cornish-based artists) and was a member of the St Ives Art Club from his arrival in 1890, a year in which he also exhibited with the St Ives artists at the Dowdeswell show.
Fox was greatly impressed with Impressionism and the en plein air techniques of the Newlyn and St Ives artists. Though he returned to Australia after two years, he continued to send work into European exhibitions. With an artist colleague, Tudor St George Tucker, he established the Melbourne School of Art in 1893, offering outdoor summer classes nearby.
In 1905 in London he married the artist Ethel Carrick (1872-1952), and they lived in Paris until shortly before WWI, when they again returned to Australia. Said to be a quiet and unassuming man, he is nevertheless considered amonst Australia's most gifted colourists and portrait painters. His commission from the Gillbee Bequest in 1902 to paint an historically significant event resulted in The Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770, which was exhibited at the RA in 1903.
Painter of portraits, and colourist
works and access
Works include: The Landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770 (1903)
various European exhibitions
New English Art Club
Australian Dictionary of Biography
Dowdeswell Exhibition catalogue (repr in Hardie 2009)
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall (p326)
Tovey (2009) St Ives: Social History
Whybrow (1994) St Ives