Impressionism In Golden Summer

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Golden Summer was first conceived in 1888, when Arthur Streeton was given the use of a large (albeit dilapidated) farmhouse in Eaglemont. Streeton was, as a member of the Heidelberg School, an artist who sought to create a unique style of Australian art that would best depict the local character, colour, people and landscape of the country on canvas. During his time at Eaglemont, Streeton began to conceive his relationship to nature in a more intimate manner. Certain pictures from the Heidelberg School during this period evoke the poignancy of the passing of time and youth, and these themes are particularly discernible in Streeton’s paintings of the 1891 summer (notable examples are At Heidelberg and Golden Summer). Streeton definitely captures the quality of Australian light, the…show more content…
By incorporating a higher colour key into his work, Streeton hoped to represent hope and gaiety in Golden Summer, which seems to perfectly capture leisured enjoyment on a summer afternoon through its use of golden yellows and bright blues. In Golden Summer, Streeton is recalling what he perceived to be the ambiance and fellowship of his time at Heidelberg. Evidence of both Naturalism and Impressionism exists within Golden Summer. Although the Heidelberg artists are often termed ‘Australian Impressionists’, and it is true that the artists worked en plein air to create a faithful record of the colour and light effects of the local landscape, the composition is quite clearly focused on rural life. Golden Summer is quite clearly structured as a panoramic Australian idyll, and it retains a greater sense of form than more radical works by French Impressionists. When sold in 1924, 1985 and 1995, Golden Summer, Eaglemont, established each time a record price for an Australian painting. The acquisition of Golden Summer was the fulfilment of a long-held goal by the then Director of the National Gallery of Australia, Betty
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