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Get to know one of Australia’s most influential impressionists through this landmark retrospective.
By Emma Joyce
November 12, 2020
By Emma Joyce
November 12, 2020

in partnership with


Living through bushfires, drought, a pandemic and economic depression — sounds familiar, right? Australian impressionist painter Arthur Streeton might have lived a hundred years ago, but his worldview was impacted by all-too-familiar cycles of environmental, economic and political upheaval. If you don't know much about Streeton, you'll have the opportunity to get to know one of Australia's most loved landscape painters through 150 of his works — including some that haven't been shown since the 1920s — in a new retrospective exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Head curator of Australian art Wayne Tunnicliffe took a deep dive into the Gallery's collection to uncover not only the beloved paintings hanging on the Gallery's walls, but also works within the collection that have been stored away for over 100 years.

Born in 1867, Streeton's art practice evolved over six decades. Within the exhibition, you'll see that evolution and an enduring passion for Australia's natural beauty; there are his sun-drenched landscapes from the 1880s, bright, joyful depictions of Sydney Harbour from the 1890s and his bucolic paintings of the 1920s and 30s.

Arthur Streeton, 'From McMahon's Point — fare one penny' (1890), National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

He painted familiar, and often beautiful, locations in New South Wales, from Coogee and Manly beaches to the Blue Mountains and upper Hawkesbury River. His skill at capturing light, land and sea contributed to Australia's take on impressionism. His peers — artists Tom Roberts and Charles Conder — were part of a new art movement, the Heidelberg School, that was a distinctly Australian take on the global art movement.

The exhibition, which runs from November 7–February 14, will feature 150 works from both public and private collections — including paintings, drawings and watercolours. It's the most significant retrospective of Streeton's art ever presented, and includes works from the artist's time in Egypt, England, Italy and in France during the second world war. As well as his final works, which show Streeton's increasing focus on environmental concerns — on his return to Australia, Streeton became more vocal about conservation and exhibiting works showing our destruction to the natural world.

Tickets to 'Streeton' cost $22 and you can buy timed-entry tickets online now. If you have already purchased untimed and undated tickets for 'Streeton', your tickets will be honoured for any date and time until February 14, 2021, excluding opening weekend. For $35, you can upgrade to a Gallery Pass, which gives you access to 'Streeton' and the 'Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes 2020'.

Top images: 1. Arthur Streeton, 'Early summer – gorse in bloom' (1888),  Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Gift of Mrs Andrew Tennant through the Art Gallery of South Australia Foundation 1982. 2. Arthur Streeton, 'The Land of the Golden Fleece' (1926). Private collection, Sydney. Photo: Jenni Carter, AGNSW.

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