From 1880-1900 marks an important period in Australian art history. It was the glorious period of Australian impressionism also known as colonial art. Impressionism is a French style of painting that tries to capturing the overall impression scene using short strokes of unmixed colours to represent the appearance of reflected light. The aim of impressionism was to illustrate the artist’s perception of the subject matter. Australian impressionism is very similar except Australian impressionists communicate their perception not through the cities and dancers of Paris but through the light and atmosphere Australia. Subjects that best reflect these aspects of Australia are usually the landscape, bush, settlers and Australian way of life. Although the artist tries to convoy his feelings and views in a painting the way a painting is interoperated will vary with the individual as everyone has experienced different things and therefore see things in different light.
Arthur Streeton was famous Australian landscape impressionist and was part of the Heidelberg School. He is well known for his blue and gold painted landscapes and vigorously square brushstrokes.
Golden summer, Eaglemont 1889
oil on canvas 81.3 h x 152.6 w
Golden Summer Eaglemont was painted in 1889 during Streeton’s stay at Eaglemont. The artist depicts truthfully the harsh landscape and sun of Australia during its worst drought in history. Quick short brushstrokes have been used. The golden paddocks dried up trees the hot blue sky and the wisp of cirrus clouds, painted with a distinctive blue-and –gold palette, seems to radiate with the still summer’s heat. The fact it was painted on a wide canvas emphasises the panoramic sweep of the land in the countryside. But despite the harsh landscape the painting looks peaceful with the sheep, shepherd, the lengthening of the shadow and the faint moon signalling the end of the stinking hot day. Also instead of...
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