This exhibition provides an exceptional opportunity to enjoy the work of
Australian artists from the nineteenth century. Familiar works by John Glover,
Conrad Martens, Arthur Streeton and Julian Ashton will be exhibited alongside
the less well-known and recently acquired watercolours by Louis Buvelot and
Eugene von Guerard.
This wonderful selection of some 80 watercolours, drawings and pastels
enlarges our appreciation of the all important collection of Australian art at
the Gallery and our perspective on 19th century Australian art as a whole.
The flavour of nineteenth century Australian life is in each of the exhibited
works. Scenes of kangaroo hunting, whaling, grape-picking and even of a cook
going about his business at one of the artists' camps on Sydney Harbour in the
late 1880s! There is humour, fine draughtsmanship and considerable acuity of
Landscape predominates, although a wonderful recent purchase of a rare sheet
of head studies of Vincent van Gogh, by John Russell, highlights the importance
of portraiture through the nineteenth century. Russell's studies of van Gogh
accompany memorable portraits by Tom Roberts, Phil May, George Coates, Abbey
Altson, BE Minns, Rupert Bunny, Edith Cusack and the young George Lambert.
This exhibition is the fourth in a series concentrating on the collection of
Australian works on paper undertaken in the last ten years. It will be
accompanied by a book with full-page colour plates of all works selected,
extensive catalogue entries and informative commentaries. Both exhibition and
catalogue are by Hendrik Kolenberg, senior curator of Australian prints,
drawings and watercolours, Anne Ryan, assistant curator and volunteer, Patricia