Sunday, 2 September 2012

Arthur Ernest Streeton and Autumn

'Autumn' (1889) by Arthur Ernest Streeton; Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat, Australia

I had an extremely difficult time finding a painting for today. I decided to use Australian landscape painter Arthur Streeton, even though the Wikipedia page says that his date of death is 1 September 1943. I usually rely on Wikipedia but Safran-Arts mentions September 2, 1943, and that is good enough for me. Otherwise I might have ended up with a painting by an artist that I didn't like at all. In any case, I like this painting and the brightness of the colours. The Wikipedia page shows more of Streeton's paintings and I like these too. I had never heard of this painter but he appears to be no minor artist. His paintings are amongst the most collectible of Australian painters. Streeton was one of the founders of the Heidelberg School, an Australian art movement that has been described as Australian Impressionism. By looking at today's painting, you can see why. The painting 'Autumn' was purchased by the Art Gallery of Ballarat in 1948, and prior to its acquisition, the canvas was cut into two smaller scenes. Eventually they decided against making two paintings out of one. I have no idea why they were even contemplating making two paintings out of one. It must have something to do with size. Anyway, this is one of Streeton's early works and it is one of the few paintings in which he depicts a woman at work. He sometimes named his paintings after works by his favourite poets and this painting is probably named after Keats' ode 'To Autumn'. I like this painting because it is a bit vague in form and there's no uniformity in the depiction of the trees. It gives a sense of a warm day in late summer turning into autumn. Just like the weather here in Amsterdam.

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