Sydney Long1871 - 1955 Chinaman's Beach, Middle Harbour 1895
- oil on panel
The first major landmark in the development of Australian art was the "9 x 5" Impression Exhibition" held in a Melbourne saleroom in 1889. It was then, in the collection of little sketches, painted chiefly on the seasoned wood of cigar boxes and measuring nine by five inches, that for the first time a body of art appeared which was distinctly and consciously Australian.
The "9 x 5" exhibition - staged by the artists Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and Frederick McCubbin - would herald the development of the style of lyrical, atmospheric landscape painting in Australia that we now know as Australian Impressionism.
This beautiful impressionist landscape by Sydney Long from 1895 demonstrates all the qualities for which Australian impressionism is best-known: graceful elongated views of a landscape resplendent in summer light and colour.
Born in Goulburn, New South Wales, in 1871, Long trained in decorative design before moving to Sydney in the early 1890s. He absorbed the lessons of naturalism and plein-air painting at the Art Society of New South Wales School, studying under A. J. Daplyn and Julian Ashton, and began exhibiting works in 1894. His artistic debut, the critically acclaimed By tranquil waters, was purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Here, Long merged the principles of his Ashton School-training with his own mood-driven expression of place, initiating a series of bush idylls in which he increasingly abstracted natural forms.
Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales