The first Australian artists werec all Europeans. William Strutt, an English artist same to Melbourn just before the Gold Rush (1850). He provides us one of the earliest views of a colonial Australian family. The O’Mullane family had five children after their marriage (1840). Artists have provided some wonderful images of nature (the Outback). Alexander Schramm painted wonderful imges of ythe Outback in the 1850s. It was man's taming of nature during the 19th and early-20th centuries that was the focus. As might be expected, this was a theme also exceptionally addressed by two countries with similar experiences with nature--America and Russia. Two Australian artists, Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) and Tom Roberts (1856-1931) established an artist camp at Box Hill (near Melbourne) and later Heidelberg which has become the name of their school. Some children appear in their paintings as they were of course a part of the settlement of Australia.
Artists have provided some wonderful images of nature (the Outback). Schramm painted wonderful images of the Outback in the 1850s. He was a sculptor, painter, lithographer and of all things a matress maker. Alexander was born in Berlin (1814). His father was a book seller. Alexander trained at the Berlin Academy of Arts. He lived for time in Warsaw, at the time part of the Tsarist Empore (1838-44). He also spent some time un Italy. He migrated to Australia (1849). We do not know why, but the date is significant, a time when many liberal oreinted people dispaired of a future in Germany. His spent 15 years in South Australia. His output was rather modet, but is of importance because there are so little artistic work during the period. We know very little about Schramn, but he provides some of the few images of the colonial outback, including sympathetic images of both the settlers and Aboriginies. 'Bush visitors' here is a good example (figure 1).
Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) was one of two Australian artists who established an artist camp at Box Hill (near Melbourne) and later Heidelberg which has become the name of their school.
William Strutt was an English artist, but as England has a wealth of artists and Australia very few, his importnce lies primarily with he work he did as a struggling young artist in Australia during the colonial era. He was born Teignmouth, Devon (1825). He came from an artistic family. His grandfather, Joseph Strutt, was a author and artist. His father, William Thomas Strutt, was a competent miniature painter and you can see the minturist influence in his work, especially the erly Australian work. As aouth he studied in Paris, France as well s England. He focused on figurative and history painting. He had health problems and experinced a near-breakdown. There were eye problems, a serious matter for anyone, but especially an aspiring young artists. He decided to travel to the developing Australian colony with its warm colony, arriving just before the Gold Rush. He arrived in Melbourne on the Culloden (July 5, 1850). He married in Australia. He worked as an illustrator on the Illustrated Australian Magazine, published by Thomas Ham, but the magazine folded. There was demand for the figurative and history paintings for which trained in the still developing colony. His designs attracted attenion and led to commissions, including a postage stamp and an Anti-Transportation League card. Despite the lack of demand for history paintings, Strutt sketched interestingsubjects, including the ‘Black Thursday’ bushfires, which swept the colony (February 6, 1851). He used the sketches decade later to paint perhaps his best known Australian painting --the dramatic 'Black Thursday, 6 February. 1851'. e was hired to teach the chilren of a wealthy Melbourne family drawing and he provides us one of the earliest views of a colonial Australian family. The O’Mullane family had five children after their marriage (1840). Gold was discovered in Victoria and Strutt joined the trek to the gold fields surrounding Ballarat. He found little gold, but made sketches of miners. He returned to Melbourne (mid-1853) and became involved in the city’s cultural scene. He won commissions for portraits and helped found the Victorian Society of Fine Arts. Strutt painted portraits to make a living, but his true interest was in capturing the life an early history of the colony. Thus he was very interested in the Victorian Exploring Expedition led by Burke and Wills (1860–61). He sketched several studies of their preparations at Royal Park, Melbourne. He followed the expedition to its first camp at Essendon, Victoria. Strutt also gathred first-hand accounts from the rescue party and from John King, the expedition's only survivor, upon his return. Strutt left Australia (1862). He was an intensely religious man, and despite his historical interest in Australia, he dispaired of bringing up his children in what he perceived to be a godless society. He returned to to England where he completed two major works based on Australian sketches, 'Black Thursday' and 'Bushrangers'. He continued to use his many Australian sketches to produce important paintings, including 'The Burial of Burke'. He also painted imagined scenes from the First Taranaki War based on sketches that he made during him time in New Zealand (1855 to 1856). Another New Zealamd work was 'View of Mt Egmont' which shows Maoris driving off settlers' cattle. These are rare from colonial New Zealand. The rest of his career in England focused on European historical and religious paintings, competent ork but of limited artistic or religious interest. He died in Wadhurst, Sussex, England (January 3, 1915).
Australian artists have provided some wonderful images of nature (the Outback). It was man's taming of nature during the 19th and early 20th centuriesthat was the focus. As might be expected, this was a theme also exceptionally addressed by two countries with similar experiences with nature--America and Russia. Two Australian artists, Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) and Tom Roberts (1856-1931) established an artist camp at Box Hill (near Melbourne) and later Heidelberg which has become the name of their school. Some children appear in their paintings as they were of course a part of the settlement of Australia. Roberts like many Australian professionals in the 19th and early 20th century was born and educated in England.
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