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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism

Ahead of the NGV's much-hyped French Impressionism exhibition later this year, this show dives into Australia's own connection to the 19th-century art movement.
By Libby Curran
April 26, 2021
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By Libby Curran
April 26, 2021
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There are still a couple of months to wait before more than 100 French impressionist masterpieces arrive on our shores, on loan from Boston's renowned Museum of Fine Arts as part of the NGV's much-anticipated Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition series. But in the meantime, you'll be able to sink your teeth into an Aussie taste of this iconic 19th-century art movement, thanks to The Ian Potter Centre's new exhibition She-Oak and Sunlight: Australian Impressionism.

Running until Sunday, August 22, the large-scale show features an impressive 270 artworks by Australia's most celebrated impressionists, as sourced from collections all over the country. Paintings from legendary artists like Frederick McCubbin, Jane Sutherland, Tom Roberts, Clara Southern and John Russell are on display, starring alongside lesser known pieces by the likes of Iso Rae, Jane Price and May Vale.

Frederick McCubbin, The pioneer (1904). Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1906.

You'll see visions of familiar Aussie landscapes, homesteads and sheep shearers, while gaining insight into the ways in which place, people and global influences shaped the impressionist movement Down Under. A series of paintings on cigar box lids features works first shown way back in 1889's 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition, while Frederick McCubbin's 1904 creation The pioneer provides a glimpse into one of the great art mysteries of recent times.

Top image: Tom Roberts, Shearing the rams (1890). Courtesy of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1932.

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