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Australian Art 3- Landscape and the Heidelberg School. The artists' camp (1886) Tom Roberts , oil on canvas , 46.0 x 60.9 cm Place of creation: Box Hill, Melbourne, Victoria Felton Bequest, 1943National Gallery of Victoria.

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Australian Art 3- Landscape and the Heidelberg School


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    1. Australian Art 3- Landscape and the Heidelberg School • The artists' camp (1886) Tom Roberts , oil on canvas , 46.0 x 60.9 cm Place of creation: Box Hill, Melbourne, Victoria Felton Bequest, 1943National Gallery of Victoria.

    2. Frederick McCubbin, Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Charles Conder are considered to have laid the foundation of the great Heidelberg school of Impressionism of the late nineteenth century in Australia, and in doing so created the first truly national school of Australian painting.

    3. Heidelberg School Artists trail Melbourne Victoria http://www.artiststrail.com/index.php?page=trail-map

    4. WITHERS, Walter England 1854 – Australia England, France 1887-88 The fossickers [(Cabbage tree flat, back creek)] 1893 Painting oil on canvas 67.7 (h) x 49.0 (w) cm Framed 88.5 (h) x 70.3 (w) x 10.9 (d) cm signed and dated l.l"Walter Withers /93"Gift of Mrs A de Bretteville 1969.NGA

    5. Gold, gold, gold, gold!Bright and yellow, hard and cold; Molten, graven, hammered, rolled,Heavy to get, and light to hold;Stolen, borrowed, squandered, doled.1Fossickers were miners who searched through mined earth in the hope of finding undiscovered gold. In Walter Withers’s depiction the fossickers are almost camouflaged within the land, blending inconspicuously with the colours of the earth. Under a gum tree the two men take a break in the midday sun. In the foreground of the picture the artist has depicted the texture of the gum tree and rocks in sharp focus, while the large rock-face in the background has been eroded by the impact of heavy mining.An English artist who arrived in Melbourne in 1883, Withers worked mostly around Heidelberg and Eltham. He visited the town of Creswick 18 kilometres north of Ballarat and 129 kilometres north-west of Melbourne where he painted landscapes and mining subjects. In January 1893 Withers conducted outdoor painting classes in Creswick.2 Percy Lindsay, who is known for his paintings of Creswick and the surrounding area, attended these classes as a young artist.1 J. C. F. Johnson, Getting gold: a gold-mining handbook for practical men, London: Charles Griffin & Company, 1904, p. 1.2 Andrew McKenzie, Walter Withers: the forgotten manuscripts, Lilydale, Victoria: Mannagum Press, 1987, p. 120.

    6. Percy Lindsey- Terrace houses lower George Street 1905. Private collection.

    7. WITHERS, WALTER HERBERT (1854-1914), artist and teacher, was born on 22 October 1854 at Aston Manor, Warwickshire, England, son of Edwin Withers, roper, and his wife Sarah, née Welch. Sent to school at Sutton Coldfield, Walter later attended art classes at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, and South Kensington schools before embarking for Australia at the behest of his father who opposed an artistic career. Breaking his journey at Port Said, he arrived in Melbourne on 1 January 1883 In 1904-05. Withers was president of the Victorian Artists' Society. Becoming dissatisfied with that body, he joined a group of fellow professional artists who formed the Australian Art Association in 1912. He was one of the judges of the work of the National Gallery students for fourteen years and in 1912-14 was a trustee of the Public Library, museums and National Gallery of Victoria. Withers' daughter remembered him as six feet (183 cm) tall and solidly built, with brown hair slightly curling at the sides, big, soft, hazel eyes and a large, bushy moustache. Plagued by rheumatism and in later life by heart and lung disease, he died of cerebral thrombosis on 13 October 1914 at Eltham and was buried nearby in the Anglican churchyard at St Helena. His wife, four daughters and a son survived him.

    8. Evening on the Yarra, Eaglemont1887 • Walter WITHERS • Medium • oil on canvas • Measurements • 41.1 x 30.7 cm • National Gallery of Victoria

    9. The Heidelberg School originated in July 1891, when art critic, Sidney Dickinson wrote a review of the exhibitions of works by Walter Withers and Arthur Streeton. Dickinson noted that these artists, whose works were mostly painted in the Heidelberg area, could be considered as ‘The Heidelberg School’. Since that time, The Heidelberg School has taken on a wider meaning and covers Australian artists of the late nineteenth century who painted plein-air in the impressionist tradition. These artists were inspired by the beautiful landscapes of the Yarra River and the unique light that typifies the Australian bush.

    10. Artists known to live and work in the Heidelberg areaTudor St George TuckerEugene Von GuerardPenleigh BoydLouis BouvelotEmanuel Phillips FoxWilliam Nicholas RowellHeidelberg School Charles CondorTom Roberts Arthur Streeton Walter WithersWomen ArtistsJane Sutherland Clara SouthernMay Vale Jane Price E Phillips Fox (Australia, b.1865, d.1915)Art students oil on canvas 182.9 x 114.3cm stretcher; 204.0 x 134.0 x 9.5cm frame Purchased 1943 Art Gallery of NSW

    11. The township of Heidelberg - first settled in the 1870s, as the name implies, by German migrants - became a household name throughout the art world in the late 1880s when painters inspired by the European Impressionists set up painting camps in the area. Led by Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton and Frederick McCubbin, members of the Heidelberg School wandered round the western fringes of Melbourne to paint their impressionist landscapes. The painters set up their original camps at Box Hill, but moved on to avoid the unwelcome attentions of curious locals.

    12. Arthur Streeton • (Australia 1867–1943) • A bush idyll • Other titles: • What though amongst the leaves hast never known • 1896 • Painting- oil on wood • 54.3 x 31.5cm board; 72.0 x 49.1 x 7.5cm frame • AGNSW

    13. 'This morning hot, windy, and warm, as I travel down the line, & the mirage sizzling and jiggering over the railway track. I arrive at my cutting, 'The fatal cutting', and inwardly rejoice at the prosperous warmth all glowing before me ... all is serene as I work & peg away ... 12 o'clock ... & now I hear 'Fire! Fire's on!', from the gang close by ... BOOM! & then rumbling of rock. The navvy under the rock with me, & watching, says, 'Man killed' ... more shots & crashing rock we peep over; he lies all hidden bar his legs. All the shots are now gone except one, and all wait, not daring to go near; then men, nippers, and a woman hurry down, ... and they raise the rock and lift him on to the stretcher, fold his arms over his chest, and slowly six of 'em carry him past me ...‘Arthur Streeton, 1891

    14. Slide number 44 Arthur Streeton Australia 1867 – Australia 1943 England 1898-1906, 1907-24 Fire's on [also known as 'Fire's on' Lapstone Tunnel] 1891 Painting oil on canvas 183.8 (h) x 122.5 (w) cm frame 204.7 (h) x 142.7 (w) x 60.0 (d) cm Art Gallery of New South Wales - Purchased 1893

    15. 'Fire's on' constitutes a radical new type of landscape in Streeton's oeuvre and is possibly the artist's greatest evocation of Australian heat and sunlight. Essentially an enlarged sketch, it was begun in response to the Art Gallery of New South Wales annual watercolour prize, which encouraged artists to paint the picturesque scenery of New South Wales.Completed on site at the mouth of a railway tunnel under construction in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the painting depicts the death of a railway worker in a premature explosion. However, the human drama is overshadowed by the heroism of the landscape itself.

    16. Arthur Streeton (Australia, b.1867, d.1943)Blue Mountain TunnelCutting the tunnel, Blue Mountains Pencil, watercolour, Chinese white highlights on paper 73.6 x 58.5cm sheet Gift of Howard Hinton 1937 Art Gallery of NSW collection.

    17. This watercolour is not a study for the painting 'Fire's on' but an independent work, preceding the painting rather than following it, contrary to its inscribed date. Streeton enthusiastically referred to it in a letter to Frederick McCubbin in October 1891 (refer to Croll 'Smike to Bulldog' 1946, pg. 20-22) and it was included in the Gallery's exhibition of selected works from its watercolour competition of 1891. It also attracted the attention of a reviewer for the 'Sydney Morning Herald' who, on 1 December 1891, noted that this watercolour:'... does not appear to have been viewed with favour by the trustees. But it will more than repay a second look, and there may be some visitors who might think its merits entitle it to a place beside some of the pictures chosen. The subject is a 'Blue Mountain Tunnel' and the choice appears to us to be as characteristic as the treatment is admirable. There is the iron track, with the sandy mounds turned up on each side, and the masses of rock through which the workers have driven their way - colour, tone and subject all strikingly real.'

    18. Charles Conder, Dandenong from Heidelberg, (c.1889),oil on composition board, 11.5 x 23.5cm, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.

    19. Amongst those who created the Heidelberg school in Australia, Roberts brought it intellectual rigour, McCubbin poetic nostalgia, and Streeton unbridled confidence. Charles Conder gave it wings of imagination. Soon after the school had reached its zenith, he left for Europe. There, brilliant of vision, flawed in lifestyle, he became one of the legendary figures of the fin de siècle. But it was in Australia where his painterly language was formed. Here, in its landscape, we may find the birth of his genius and understand the remarkable and diverse journey it took over two short decades.Barry Pearce, Head Curator of Australian Art and Co-Curator of the Charles Conder Retrospective

    20. Moonrise 1909 Fredrick McCubbin, oil on canvas 77.0 x 92.0 cm Purchased with the assistance of a special grant from the Government of Victoria, 1979 National gallery of Victoria.

    21. The artist in societyEarly in their careers, none of the artists represented were able to support themselves through their art alone. Roberts worked as a photographer’s assistant and Streeton as a junior clerk prior to his apprenticeship as a lithographer. Conder initially trained as a surveyor in New South Wales and he supplemented his income working as an illustrator for The Illustrated Sydney News. Paid employment was not considered appropriate for middle class women and, although she later taught, Jane Sutherland was supported by her large liberal, artistic and musical family.Frederick McCubbin’s father ran a bakery in King Street and McCubbin worked in the family business as well as a stint as solicitor’s clerk and working as a coach painter during his art training. On his early morning bread delivery rounds he saw the variety of workers in the city, the ‘carters and carriers, dealers and merchants, pie men and builders, boatmen and river pilots, lightermen and sailors, shinglers and night men emptying the city’s human waste’. He recalled his days driving the horse drawn bakers cart: ‘I shall never forget the mud in winter-time down on the swamp – the tracks round the Gas Works, the timber laying about and the narrow shaves from being capsized en route, and Bully Browns cook, how he swore. And sometimes we got stuck in the mud…’

    22. The pioneer 1904 Fredrick McCubbin, oil on canvas 225.0 x 295.7 cm Felton Bequest, 1906 National Gallery of Victoria

    23. Developing nationalismDuring the 1880s the sense that Australians were ‘Australian’, with their own history and national character, gathered momentum. The Colonies were not united as one nation until 1901, but the process had begun with the establishment of the Federal Council in 1885. The case for federation was persuasively argued in Banjo Paterson’s editorial for the Bulletin, ‘Australia for the Australians’, Henry Lawson’s, ‘United Division’ and Henry Parkes’s, ‘Tenterfield Oration’, 1889. A rush of centenary celebrations and jubilees – the 1870 centenary of Cook’s arrival in Australia, the Centennial Exhibition of 1888, celebrating one hundred years of British settlement, the Golden Jubilees of Victoria (1884) and South Australia (1886) – confirmed the emerging sense of national identity. Illustrated publications such as The Picturesque Atlas of Australasia gave the population an image of themselves and their achievements in their new country.

    24. Slide number 45 Frederick McCubbin (Australia, b.1855, d.1917)On the wallaby track Painting, oil on canvas,122.0 x 223.5cm stretcher; 174.0 x 275.4 x 13.5cm frame Purchased 1897 Art Gallery of NSW,

    25. Among the best known and most popularly admired of Australian paintings, 'On the Wallaby track' was McCubbin's tribute to a generation that was almost past. In the context of a prevailing nationalist mood leading towards Federation, he chose what was at the time regarded as a characteristically Australian subject – a rural family 'on the wallaby track', performing a ritual characteristic of this life – that of boiling a 'billy' of water for tea. The title of the painting 'On the wallaby track' was the colloquial Australian term then used to describe those who lived a life constantly on the move - camping out by the roadside as they travelled from place to place, in search of work. McCubbin's painting heroises these people who worked on the land, enduring poverty and hardship - as true 'pioneers' of Australian settlement.

    26. At the time of its first exhibition in Melbourne in 1896, this picture was seen as being a realistic depiction of the rural realities of the early 1890s Depression - a critic writing that '… it is human life. There is no attempt at idealization. The weariness of the woman and her utter lack of romance are of that same kind of fidelity to nature that Thomas Hardy gives in prose'. Despite its rather melancholy subject, 'On the wallaby track' is now viewed in a more romantic light by mainly city-dwelling Australians - nostalgic for a connection to the land that for many still epitomises the 'true Australia.

    27. Born in Melbourne, McCubbin studied at the National Gallery of Victoria schools under eminent landscape painter Eugene von Guérard, later joining other artists who were beginning to paint in the open air, in the bush around the city outskirts. 'On the Wallaby track' was painted close to the artist's home in Melbourne using his wife, their young baby, and his brother-in-law as models. Key influences for McCubbin at this time as for his fellow artists, included the academic naturalism of Jules Bastien-Lepage and the new focus on local and everyday subjects by leading French Barbizon school artists Corot and Millet. Jules BASTIEN-LEPAGE French 1848–1884 Season of October: The potato gatherers, 1878, oil on canvas 180.7 x 196.0 cm Felton Bequest 1928 National Gallery of Victoria

    28. Roberts, Thomas William (Tom) (1856 - 1931), artist, was born on 9 March 1856 at Dorchester, Dorset, England, elder son of Richard Roberts, journalist, and his wife Matilda Agnes Cela, née Evans. Tom was educated at Dorchester Grammar School. After her husband's death Matilda and her three children migrated in 1869 to Melbourne where they lived at Collingwood. The first years were difficult for a poor family and Tom helped his mother to sew satchels after work. He soon became interested in art and studied at the Collingwood and Carlton artisans' schools of design in 1873; at the latter Louis Buvelot and Eugene von Guerard awarded him a prize for a landscape. In 1874 he joined the National Gallery School where he attended Thomas Clark’s classes in design. Though the school listed his occupation as photographer, his responsibilities at Stewart's, photographers in Bourke Street, were confined to arranging backdrops and studio sets and sometimes posing the sitters for portraits.

    29. Slide number 46 Tom Roberts Shearing the Rams oil on canvas on composition board 122.4 x 183.3 cm Place of creation: Corowa, New South Wales Felton Bequest, 1932 National Gallery of Victoria.

    30. During travel in London he was especially influenced by a variety of regional groups who eventually formed the nucleus of the New English Arts Club in 1886. Other strong influences were Whistler and the popular plein air painters such as Bastien Lepage and his British followers. Roberts toured Spain in 1883 with the future Labour politician Dr William Maloney and fellow artist John Peter Russell. Although he spent only a few weeks in Spain it was a joyous and formative experience which encouraged his naturalistic bent. Two Spanish painters he met in Granada, Lorreano Barrau and Ramon Casas, emphasized certain popular notions of Impressionism and plein air principles. In 1884 Roberts continued his pursuit of momentary effects in small studies of the seascape and several figure studies painted during a holiday at Venice—small exercises in a Whistlerian mode.He returned to Melbourne in 1885 at precisely the right moment to instigate a new school of painting based on plein air practice which, in Australia as elsewhere, was allied to notions of nationalism and regionalism. Roberts's Melbourne colleagues immediately benefited from his experience; Arthur Streeton, for one, later claimed that 'Bulldog's' example was crucial. His sense of mission and enthusiasm were important in a period when painters and writers were seeking local self-definition. His dedication put him in the forefront of the group of painters which became known as the Heidelberg school.

    31. Slide number 47 Charles Conder, A holiday at Mentone1888 oil on canvas 46.2 x 60.8 cm, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

    32. CONDER, CHARLES EDWARD (1868-1909), painter, lithographer and fan-designer, was born on 24 October 1868 in London, the third child of James Conder and his first wife Ann, née Ayre. In 1870 Charles was taken to India where his father had been appointed executive railway engineer but after his mother's death in 1873 the boy was sent to England to be educated in Eastbourne. His father strongly opposed Charles's wish to become an artist and sent him to New South Wales to work under his uncle, William Jacomb Conder, an official in the Lands Department. On 24 March 1884 Charles sailed in the Windsor Castle and on 13 June arrived at Sydney. There he worked in the office of the Lands Department and in various trigonometrical survey camps in New South Wales, combining surveying with sketching and writing affectionate letters to William Conder's daughter Margaret Emma, most of which were later destroyed

    33. Charles Conder (Australia, England 24 Oct 1868–09 Feb 1909)The hot sands, Mustapha, Algiers Other titles: The hot sands, Mustapha, Flowers in a vase against a background of the coastline of Mustapha, Algiers 1891, oil on canvas 46.0 x 55.3cm stretcher; 63.0 x 72.0 x 7.2cm frame AGNSW

    34. From October 1888 to April 1890 Conder settled in Melbourne; there he first shared a studio with Roberts, then rented his own at Melbourne Chambers and later at Gordon Chambers, both in Collins Street. Together with (Sir) Arthur Streeton, Roberts and other painters he spent the summers of 1888-89 and 1889-90 as well as many weekends at the Eaglemont 'camp' near Heidelberg; nicknamed K. he was affectionately received into this group closely bound together by brotherly feelings; thus began his friendship with Roberts and Streeton which continued for many years after he had left Australia. He joined Roberts, Streeton, Fredrick McCubbin and Charles Douglas Richardson in the exhibition of 9 x 5 impressions at Buxton Galleries, Swanston Street, on 17 August 1889 and contributed to the exhibitions of the Victorian Artists' Society of November 1888, May 1889 and March 1890.He took up residence in London in 1894 but made frequent journeys to Normandy and Dieppe where he visited his friends J. E. Blanche and Fritz Thaulow and painted garden and beach scenes in oil.. On 5 December 1900 Conder married Stella Maris Belford, a Canadian, and for the next six years led a social life of ease and elegance. Since 1907 frequently confined to a sanatorium, he died on 9 February 1909 at Virginia Water, Surrey, where he was buried. His wife died in 1912; there were no children.

    35. An old bee farm (c. 1900) • Clara Southern oil on canvas 69.1 x 112.4 cm • Place of creation: Warrandyte, Victoria Felton Bequest, 1942 National Gallery of Victoria.

    36. SOUTHERN, CLARA (1860-1940), artist, was born on 3 October 1860 at Kyneton, Victoria, third surviving child of John Southern, farmer, and his wife Jane, née Elliott, both from England. A boarder at Trentham State School, Clara attended the Minerva Academy for girls, Kyneton, where she showed an aptitude for drawing and music. She enrolled at Madame Mouchette's Melbourne studio and later took lessons from Walter Withers. From 1883 to 1887 she studied at the National Gallery School, Melbourne, under G.F.Folingsby and Fredrick McCubbin. A tall, lithe beauty with reddish fair hair, she was nicknamed 'Panther' and became friends with fellow students E. M. 'Jo' Sweatman and Agnes 'Mama' Kirkwood. In January 1886 Southern — who was also a violinist — was admitted to the Buonarotti Society, a sketching club whose members included writers and musicians. From 1888 to 1900 she shared a studio with Jane Sutherland at fashionable Grosvenor Chambers in Collins Street where she gave painting lessons. In 1907 her landscapes were awarded a prize in the fine arts section of the Australian Exhibition of Women's Work.

    37. Jane SutherlandObstruction, Box Hill (1887)41.3 x 31.1 cmBallarat Fine Art Gallery, VictoriaL. J. Wilson Bequest Fund, 1976Jane Sutherland’s Obstruction, 1887, was probably painted on one of her visits to the camp at Box Hill. The little girl’s path is blocked, not by the Australian bush, where she seems to be quite at home, but by the bull on the other side of the fence. Sutherland’s painting is a reminder that the bushland that the artists painted was in fact a small pocket of bush in an area that was already settled, cultivated farming land.

    38. SUTHERLAND, JANE (1853-1928), painter and teacher, was born on 26 December 1853 in New York, eldest daughter of George Sutherland, woodcarver, and his wife Jane, née Smith, both Scottish born. The family arrived in Sydney in 1864 and moved to Melbourne in 1870 where George became a drawing instructor with the Department of Education and exhibited with the Victorian Academy of Arts (1875-78). He was joined by his brothers, Alexander and John, and the Sutherlands played a distinguished role in science, education and the arts; Alexander, George and William were Jane's brothers.At the National Gallery School of Design Jane studied under Thomas Clark in 1871-75, O. R. Campbell in 1877-81 and Fredrick McCubbin in 1886. She attended the school of painting in 1877 under Eugene von Guerard and in 1882-85 under George Folingsby. In October 1883 she was awarded the Robert Wallen prize of five guineas at the annual students' exhibition. She exhibited in 1878 with the Victorian Academy of Arts, then with the Australian Artists' Association, and with the Victorian Artists' Society (formed 1888) until 1911.

    39. Charles Conder, Catalogue of the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition, 1889

    40. 9x 5 Exhibition In an article in Table Talk magazine on 28 June, 1889, Sophie Osmond explained Impressionism to her readers as ‘sketchy work, brilliant in colour but vague in design’ and alerted the public to a forthcoming exhibition of Impressionist works in Melbourne “Now… the public will have the opportunity of judging for itself what Impressionism really is, for it is the intention of our Victorian artists to hold an ‘impressionist’ exhibition in Mr. Tom Roberts’s studio at the Grosvenor Chamber’s in about a month’s time. The three principals of the movement are Mr Tom Roberts, Mr Charles Conder and Mr. Arthur Streeton, who have taken the responsibility of the matter into their own hands. These three artists are generally considered to be the leaders of Impressionism here, while Fred McCubbin may possibly be added as a fourth…’’

    41. Charles ConderHerrick’s blossoms (c.1889)oil on cardboard 13.1 x 24.0 cmNational Gallery of Australia, CanberraPurchased, 1969

    42. The title of the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition was inspired by the dimensions of a majority of the paintings (nine inches by five inches or 23cm x 13cm, approximately), as well as their Impressionist style. Many of the paintings were painted on cigar box lids collected from tobacconists, but just as many were most were painted on board. There were also a number of paintings on canvas, and some sculptured panels in wax and one in bronze..

    43. Tom RobertsMentone 1888 oil on wood panel 11.0 x 18.8 cmNational Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Purchased, 1955

    44. The 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition reflected the artists’ awareness of international art and artists, and a desire for their work to be seen in that broader context. The influence of London–based American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903) and Aestheticism was particularly important for the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition. The subtle colour and tonal harmonies used to create mood and atmosphere in many paintings, including Fog, Thames Embankment, c. 1884, which Roberts painted while he was still in London, have clear links to Whistler. The influence of Japanese art and design, which was so important for Whistler and Aestheticism, is also evident in many of the paintings in the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition. For example, the arrangement of strong simplified forms in a vertical format in Andante has strong affinities with Japanese art. The delicate pink blossoms on bare branches in Herrick’s blossoms, c.1888 by Conder also have a decorative quality associated with Japanese art. The title for this work refers to a poem by English poet Robert Herrick (1591–1674), which highlights the fragile and fleeting quality of beauty, a favourite theme in Aesthetic art and literature

    45. ExpatriatesJohn Peter RussellRupert BunnyEmanuel Phillips FoxG.W. LambertHugh RamseyMax Meldrum John Russell, Portrait of Van Gogh, 1886.Van Gogh, Museum, Amsterdam.

    46. John Peter Russell (1858- 1930) Landscape with Houses in the distance Watercolour pen and ink, gouache on wove paper 25.4x 32.5cm Art gallery of NSW

    47. RUSSELL, JOHN PETER (1858-1930), artist, was born on 16 June 1858 at Darlinghurst, Sydney, eldest of four children of John Russell, Scottish engineer, and his wife Charlotte Elizabeth, née Nicholl, a Londoner. From 18 he trained as a 'gentleman apprentice' with the engineering firm in England, where he became a qualified engineer. He maintained his childhood interest in art and made his first experiments with water-colour John Peter Russell - Portrait of William Dodge Mac knight, c 1887, 55 x 47 cm

    48. John Peter Russell, Rocher auchien, Clos marion, Belle-Lle,Oil on canvas, 20.5x 24.2 in 1903. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts?

    49. In 1877 John Russell (senior) wound up his Sydney engineering works. He died suddenly in 1879: John Peter found himself with substantial means and freedom to choose his own career. After twelve months in Sydney to sort out his affairs, he enrolled at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College, London, on 5 January 1881. For some seven years he studied painting as it suited him, restless and unsettled, constantly breaking the routine for painting tours and holidays. He visited Spain in 1883 with Tom Roberts and Dr William Maloney, lifelong friends; another trip was to Sicily in 1887. In Paris on 8 February 1888 he married Auguste Rodin's beautiful Italian model Marianna Antoinetta Mattiocco. That year he settled at Belle Ile, off the coast of Brittany, and built Le Chateau Anglais. Well-built and athletic, with a preference for rowing, boxing and sailing, Russell was warm-hearted: friendships were of the greatest importance to him. He keenly felt Roberts's return to Australia in 1885, while in Paris his friendship with van Gogh (whom he had met at Cormon's) is commemorated by his fine portrait-study now at the Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. His meeting with Claude Monet on Belle Ile in 1886 was of the greatest importance to his style of painting and Auguste Rodin was to become a well-loved family friend.

    50. Rupert BUNNY 1864– 1947 Pastoral [Sea idyll Pastorale]c.1893Oil on canvas 142.0 h x 251.0 w Purchased 1969 National Gallery of Victoria