Exhibition description: ‘Australian Impressionism, the first exhibition since the groundbreaking and immensely popular Golden Summers: Heidelberg and beyond exhibition of 1985 (National Gallery of Victoria), will seek to redefine the subject and introduce it to a new generation. The exhibition will reunite masterpieces of Australian Impressionism from public and private collections in Australia and overseas, and will introduce a number of important lesser-known and recently rediscovered pictures. The catalogue will present the latest research on the subject, challenging accepted notions and offering a new interpretation of ‘the Golden Age of Australian painting’.”

In preparation for this 2007 exhibition a program of technical examination and restoration has begun on the 60+ paintings to be included from the NGV Collection. The program provides unique access to a large body of significant works from the period 1885-1895 as well as the opportunity to re-examine works with updated equipment and new technologies. The findings will contribute to the catalogue text and broaden a knowledge base that can assist with critical assessment of the lesser-known and newly discovered works drawn from private collections. The exhibition title ‘Australian Impressionism’ aligns the Australian painters with the European movement. The conservation program hopes to explore this relationship through the application of technical art history to disclose choice of palette and pictorial intentions of the Australian painters. A collaborative project between CSIRO and NGV has been using micro XRF and portable XRF equipment for pigment surveys of these works.

Insights & Intuition: 10th Paintings SIG Symposium 2006
Paper author:
Varcoe-Cocks, Michael