Review: Australia's Impressionists

Arthur Streeton, ’Ariadne’, 1895, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

Raise your hand if you knew there was an Australian Impressionism. If by chance you didn’t, there’s no need to worry! The National Gallery is here to help with an entire exhibition dedicated to the topic (the first one of this type organized in a European art institution). With 41 paintings coming from Australian art museums (mostly the National Gallery of Art and the Art Gallery of New South Wales) and private collections, Australia’s Impressionists is a small but effective way to discover the main artists who, inspired by European Impressionism, brought this pictorial language to their continent and defined it in a specifically ‘Australian’ way.

The exhibition begins with the ‘9 by 5 inches Impressionist Exhibition’ held in Melbourne in 1889 where some of the paintings executed by Tom Roberts (1856-1931), Arthur Streeton (1867-1943) and Charles Conder (