The Heidelberg School The Heidelberg School was the first significant art movement in Australia. The name originated in July 1891, when art critic, Sidney Dickinson wrote a review of the exhibitions of Walter Withers and Arthur Streeton. These artists and others are members of the “HEIDELBERG SCHOOL” for their work has been done mainly in this attractive suburb. The paintings, which are all selected from the region around Heidelberg, have a high appreciation of colour. It would be quite impossible to find, in any part of the world, more striking effects than are found ready to the artist‟s hand in the Australian landscape at certain seasons of the year. Since the time of the Sidney Dickinson article, the term „Heidelberg School‟ has taken on a broader meaning, and there are now numerous and diverse publications on the subject. The term is no longer restricted to those artists who painted in the Heidelberg area, but is used to cover the Australian artists of the late Nineteenth Century who worked ‘plein air’ at a number of popular painting sites. In the 1880‟s and 1890‟s, significant ‘plein air’ painting sites included the Gardiners Creek area of Box Hill, the foreshore area of Port Phillip Bay, particularly between Brighton and Mentone, and the sunlit valley of the Yarra River in the vicinity of Heidelberg, East Ivanhoe, Eaglemont and Templestowe. Later significant sites included Eltham, Warrandyte, Diamond Creek and areas of the Dandenong Ranges, such as Olinda and Kallista.
Frederick McCubbin, Down on his Luck, 1889, oil on canvas, 145.0 x 183.3 x 14.0 cm (framed), State Art Collection, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Purchased, 1896
FREDERICK McCUBBIN, Australia 1855 – 1917THE PIONEER, 1904, oil on canvas, 223.5 x 86 cm; 224.7 x 122.5 cm; 223.5 x 85.7 cm Collection: National Gallery of Victoria
Frederick McCubbin, Lost, 1886 oil on canvas 115.8 x73.9 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Tom Roberts (1856-1931) - 1888-1890, Shearing the Rams, (National Gallery of Victoria, Australia) Oil on canvas on composition board; 122.4 x 183.3 cm
Jane Sutherland, Field naturalists (c.1896) oil on canvas, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Gift of Mrs E. H. Shackell, 1962
Jane Sutherland, The Mushroom Gatherers (c.1895) 41.8 x 99.3 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Gift of Dr Margaret Sutherland, 1972
Jane SutherlandAlthough Sutherland‟s work reflects the same interestsand qualities as that of her male colleagues, it has notalways been equally recognised or valued. Her paintingssold for significantly less than those of her malecolleagues, and her work was not represented in publiccollections until 1962 when a major work, Fieldnaturalists, c.1896, was given as a gift to the NationalGallery of Victoria. In 1972 another three Sutherlandpaintings entered the collection as a gift from the artist‟sniece. Around this time feminism caused a surge ofinterest in the work of women, and newresearch, exhibitions and publications recognised andcelebrated the achievements of women artists, includingartists of the past, such as Sutherland.