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Australia's Impressionists

Australia's Impressionists

ISBN 9781857096125
Edition 1
Publication Date
Purchase Type Buy New
Publisher National Gallery London
Author(s)
Overview
Australia's unique take on Impressionism is here represented by four major artists: Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, and John Peter Russell. The first three were leading players of what became known as the Heidelberg School, which hit its stride around 1888, a time of a growing movement towards a federalisation of the colonies, and a sense of what it meant to be ‘Australian', as the Australian-born population started to outnumber migrants.
With this more acutely felt sense of identity came a desire to capture more faithfully the Australian landscape, in particular the unique light. The landmark 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition of 1889 served to introduce Melbourne society to ‘Impressionism' through around 180 ‘impressions' or oil sketches, many of them painted on panels from cigar boxes of around 9 x 5 inches. Australian Impressionism is introduced as something quite different from French Impressionism, and one more under the influence of London's avant-garde, and in particular Whistler, whose exhibition ‘Notes' – ‘Harmonies' – ‘Nocturnes' Roberts had seen in 1884, and was a prototype for the 9 by 5.
Russell was born and died in Sydney, but spent some 40 years in Europe, fully embedded in the avant-garde; he was friends with Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin, and his talents as a colourist made a deep impression on the young Matisse, but his reputation was only rediscovered in the second half of the 20th century.
Overview
Australia's unique take on Impressionism is here represented by four major artists: Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, and John Peter Russell. The first three were leading players of what became known as the Heidelberg School, which hit its stride around 1888, a time of a growing movement towards a federalisation of the colonies, and a sense of what it meant to be ‘Australian', as the Australian-born population started to outnumber migrants.
With this more acutely felt sense of identity came a desire to capture more faithfully the Australian landscape, in particular the unique light. The landmark 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition of 1889 served to introduce Melbourne society to ‘Impressionism' through around 180 ‘impressions' or oil sketches, many of them painted on panels from cigar boxes of around 9 x 5 inches. Australian Impressionism is introduced as something quite different from French Impressionism, and one more under the influence of London's avant-garde, and in particular Whistler, whose exhibition ‘Notes' – ‘Harmonies' – ‘Nocturnes' Roberts had seen in 1884, and was a prototype for the 9 by 5.
Russell was born and died in Sydney, but spent some 40 years in Europe, fully embedded in the avant-garde; he was friends with Van Gogh, Monet and Gauguin, and his talents as a colourist made a deep impression on the young Matisse, but his reputation was only rediscovered in the second half of the 20th century.
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