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Listed under:  Arts  >  Visual arts  >  Painting
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'The musician', 1901

This is a very large watercolour (105.7 cm x 100.5 cm) painted in 1901 by William Blamire Young (1862-1935). It shows a music lesson in progress, with two youths playing a piano in the presence of a music teacher. The composition has been arranged so that the teacher and the piano occupy most of the image, with the youths' ...

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'Near Liverpool, New South Wales', c1908

This oil painting by W C Piguenit shows a panorama of fertile grazing land near Liverpool in New South Wales. Most of the picture is taken up with a luminous cloudscape of great banks and flurries of bright and shaded clouds against a blue sky. A few puddles on a track indicate recent rain. Cows graze in green pastures ...

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'Bridge work, Burma-Thailand Railway', 1946

This ink, pen and pencil gouache drawing on paper shows prisoners of the Japanese working to build the Burma-Thailand Railway in Thailand during the Second World War. Five men in the foreground, managed by a skeletal comrade, strain up a compacted mud rise bearing a heavy log that will be hewn into bridge supports, planks ...

StillImage

Hindeloopen clogs, 1994

This is a pair of wooden clogs painted in green and terracotta with cream edging and various floral motifs in the Hindeloopen style. The clogs are painted in 'Sunday colours'; that is, on a dark-green background. Their dimensions are: 28 cm (length) x 10 cm (width) x 9.5 cm (height).

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Hans Heysen: 'The saplings', 1904

This resource includes an enlargeable image of the painting 'The saplings' by Hans Heysen and catalogue information about the painting. There is also a video with audio commentary and corresponding onscreen text that provides an interpretation of the painting and information about the artist's views. The painting pays homage ...

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Yolngu sea country: miny'tji (clan designs)

This is an information resource about the distinctive designs or miny'tji belonging to individual Yolngu clans living in the coastal region of north-east Arnhem Land. It consists of explanatory text and examples of miny'tji belonging to the Gumatj and Madarrpa clans of the Yirritja moiety (half) and to the Marakulu and ...

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Kakadu history in rock art

Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory is transformed each year by the monsoonal rains, but how did ancient sea level changes alter the landscape? Thousands of Aboriginal rock art sites across Kakadu tell the stories of this ancient, sacred land. Visit some of them to discover more about this place and its people.

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Painting a blank canvas outdoors

Do you fear the blank page or canvas when you're about to create an artwork? Musician Henry Wagons has felt this fear when writing music but also felt it when he first tried landscape painting. See how his painting turned out after he had a little help from an expert.

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Reading the message in a painting

Have you ever 'read' a painting? In England during the mid-1800s, the job of a seamstress or dressmaker was often not a happy one. Explore, or 'read', Richard Redgrave's painting 'The Seamstress' (1846) to find out more about the life of one such woman, and to discover the message that the artist was sending.

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Every painting tells a story

At first glance you will see in Thomas Faed's painting 'Worn Out' (1868) a sleeping child in a bed holding the sleeve of a man asleep in a chair beside him. You might imagine the story shown here and think about the way the painting makes you feel. This clip has many more clues that will help you understand the story in ...

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GW Evans: 'Blighton Farm' 1810

Blighton Farm, on the Hawkesbury River at Pitt Town in the colony of New South Wales, was a successful farmstead. How does the artist convey this in the painting? Watch this video to find out why such a painting was commissioned and created.

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The Sydney Bird Painter - 'The white gallinule' c. 1791-92

Can you imagine what it would have been like to arrive in Australia and see its unique flora and fauna for the first time? Scientific drawings of Australia's flora and fauna emerged with the arrival of the first European settlers who were fascinated by how unusual they were. Sadly, even as they documented these extraordinary ...

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Eugene von Guerard: 'Purrumbete from across the lake' 1858

Lured to Australia by the discovery of gold, Eugene von Guérard was the lead painter in the first century of European settlement. This piece is one of a pair that was commissioned by land owners Peter and John Manifold. Von Guérard was known for his mastery of landscapes, and his attention to detail and interest in the ...

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John Glover: 'Mr Robinson's house on the Derwent, Van Diemen's Land' c. 1838

Artists were often captivated by their first glimpse of the Australian landscape and portrayed the countryside with a sense of wonder. This example by John Glover includes trees with curled branches, brightly lit skies and colour infused hills. How does this image compare to others you have seen of this period?

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John Glover: 'Patterdale landscape with cattle' c. 1833

John Glover migrated to Tasmania in 1831, arriving on his 64th birthday. He is considered one of Australia's most important artists of the early 19th century and the colonial period. This piece was one of the first he completed after taking up a land grant in Patterdale on the Nile River. The pastoral scene depicts the ...

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Conrad Martens: 'View from Rose Bank' 1840

Many early artists romanticised the Australian colonial landscape and did not always strictly paint what they saw. In this example Martens has given the landscape a decidedly Italian atmosphere, softening the colour palate and creating a more ‘civilised' view. Can you think of why the artist may be interested in changing ...

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John Lewin: 'Reed warbler' 1805

Natural history illustrator John Lewin was the first professional artist to come to Australia as a free settler. His collected illustrations of native birds became the first non-government book published in the colony. How difficult do you think it was to identify and illustrate so many different birds?

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Arthur Merric Boyd: 'Gathering seaweed before the storm, Sandringham beach' 1900

Arthur Boyd's interest in seeking to capture the effects of light on water is demonstrated here. How does he convey the impression of an approaching storm? How do you think painting outdoors influences the use of light and colour he uses in his art?

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Emma Boyd: 'The quail shooter' 1884

In this work Emma Boyd depicts the landscape near her home, ‘The Grange', in Victoria. See how the landscape dominates the single human figure? What do you think this suggests? What is the artists trying to say by creating this sense of scale?

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Louis Buvelot: 'Near Fernshaw' 1873

Louis Buvelot depicted the Australian landscape with a sense of familiarity that many settlers had come to feel about their new homeland. The influence of the outdoor painting style saw his work become known for revealing the hidden beauty in seemingly normal landscapes. How does Buvelot achieve this sense of familiarity ...