ArtLex Art Dictionary

 

 

HHeidelberg school - An Australian school of art. Dominating Australian art for about thirty years in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the group was led by Thomas William Roberts (1856-1931), and included Charles Conder (1868-1909), Sir Arthur Ernest Streeton (1867-1943), and Frederick McCubbin (1855-1917). Heavily influenced by French Impressionism, Roberts believed that it offered the direction for an authentically Australian painting style.The group often met in the Australian bush near Heidelberg, Victoria, for a series of "camps" between 1887 and 1890. First gaining recognition at an exhibition in Melbourne in 1889, the Heidelberg school was viewed as a direct challenge to the prevailing trend in Australian art, which was characteristically very polished and dark in color. Although the group had virtually disbanded in 1900, its vision of the Australian landscape inspired many landscape and social realist painters in later decades.

 

 

Examples:

 

 

Frederick McCubbin (Australian, 1855-1917), The Letter, 1884, oil on canvas, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Australia.

 

 

 

Frederick McCubbin (Australian, 1855-1917), Lost, 1886, oil on canvas, 114.0 x 71.6 cm, National Gallery of Victoria.

 

 

Frederick, McCubbin, Portrait of Robert Russell, c. 1890, oil on canvas lined on composition board 50.8 x 40.4 cm.

 

 

Tom Roberts (British-Australian, 1856-1931), Wood Splitters, c.1886, Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Australia. Roberts was greatly influenced by the Naturalist - Impressionist painter Jules Bastien-Lepage. An example of his work:

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftJules Bastien-Lepage (French, 1848-1884), The Wood Gatherer, 1881, oil on canvas, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI. Emile Zola (1840-1902) described Bastien-Lepage's work as "Impressionism corrected, sweetened and adapted to the taste of the crowd."

 

 

 

Tom Roberts, Mentone, 1887, oil on canvas, 51.0 x 76.5 cm, National Gallery of Victoria.

 

 

Tom Roberts, Bourke Street, Melbourne, oil on canvas lined on composition board, 51.2 x 76.7 cm.

 

 

Tom Roberts, Sketch for Opening of Federal Parliament, 1901, oil on academy board, 30.3 x 45.6 cm. There is also a key to Tom Roberts' historical painting, the Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth, 9th May, 1901, 45.5 x 55.5 cm.

 

 

 

Arthur Streeton (Australian, 1867-1943), Golden Summer, Eaglemont, 1889, oil on canvas (81.3 x 152.6 cm), in its frame, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

 

 

Arthur Streeton, Near Heidelberg, 1890, oil on canvas, 53.4 x 43.1 cm, National Gallery of Victoria.

 

 

Arthur Streeton, The Selector's Hut, Whelan on the Log, 1890, oil on canvas, 76.7 x 51.2 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

 

 

Charles Conder (Australian, 1868-1909).

 

Hans Heysen (German-Australian, 1877-1968, in Australia from 1884), A Lord of the Bush, 1908, oil on canvas, 134.0 x 103.0 cm, National Gallery of Victoria. Heysen is among those influenced by the Heidelberg school.

 

 

Hans Heysen, Guardian of the Brachina Gorge, 1937, watercolor, 48.2 x 62.4 cm (image), National Gallery of Victoria.

 

 

 

Also see Aboriginal art.

 

 

 

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