Born in 1907 in Gampola, he was exposed to the life of painting from an early age, as his father W W Beling was also a painter. Beling was more attracted to Cubism developed by Braque and Picasso.
When observing his work in the 1930s, a similarity with George Keyt in the design and composition of the painting; the densities and choice of colour and selection of topics – still life and landscapes.
However this was only the beginning and they both moved on in two very different directions.
Winzer was impressed by the two young painters, Keyt and Beling, about whom he wrote in “The Studio” magazine in 1931. He referred to them as ‘pioneers in a more vital form of painting than that based on Royal Academy standards of taste’ (Weereratne, 1993, p54).
Armand Roulin, who wrote to the “Times of Ceylon”, remarked that Beling’s work encompassed “a tenderness and simplicity and fervour that proclaim the spirital values he is now concerned about” (Weereratne, 1993, p55).
S.P. Amarasingham in the “Sunday Times” found Beling’s work hard to define. He stated ‘his lines and composition are classical and architectural. He succeeds in capturing a perticular atmosphere in such a way that it leaves an undying impression on one’s mind’. This technique can be believed to have been obtained by his early education in architecture at the Sir J.J. School of Art in Bombay.
Beling conducted joint exhibitions in 1930 and 1932 with George Keyt, and was supported by Winzer, Wendt and Len van Genyzel. In 1945, he became Chief Inspector of Art in the Education Department and stopped painting altogether. However, he worked tirelessely in the development of art education in schools based on spontaneous creative expression.
Reference: Weeraratne (1993)
|Name of Exhibition||Year||Place|
|43 Group 2nd Exhibition||1944||Darley Road, Colombo|
|43 Group 3rd Exhibition||1945||Darley Road, Colombo|
|43 Group 6th Exhibition||1948||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo 07|
|43 Group Contemporary Ceylonese Painting||1952||Imperial Institute, London|
|43 Group 10th Exhibition||1955||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo 07|
|43 Group 14th Exhibition||1964||The Art Gallery, Guildford Crescent, Colombo 07|
|43 Group exhibition to honor George Keyt||1991||Colombo|
|Exhibition of the ’43 Group and Other Artists by The Taprobane Collection||2017||Nelum Arts Centre, Colombo|
Other Publicaitons the Artist has been mentioned in
|Art in Sri Lanka – The Anton Wickramasinghe Collection||1988||Albert Dharmasiri||ANCL – Lake House|
|Modern Sri Lankan Painters||1992||George Keyt Foundation||Siri Printers|
|43 Group||1993||Neville Weereratne||Lantana Publishing|
|Visions of an Island – Rare works from Sri Lanka in The Christopher Ondaatje Collection||1999||Neville Weereratne||Harper Collins Publishers Ltd|
|Sketch Book||2008||-||Sapumal Foundatio & Beling Familyn|
|Sri Lankan Painting in the 20th Century||2009||Senake Bandaranayake and Albert Dharmasiri||The Nationl Trust Sri Lanka|
|The Heritage||Albert Dharmasiri||R. Rajamahendran|