Australian Impressionists in France

15 Jun 2013-06 Oct 2013,


Exhibition Reviews,



Painting & Drawing,


Critics' choice

Exquisite paintings by Australian Impressionist artists who worked in late 19th and early 20th century France

This event has finished

Australian artist John Peter Russell moved to Paris in 1884 where he learned Impressionist techniques from Monet and became classmates with Vincent Van Gogh. In 1907, when Russell’s wife died, he buried her next to his home and destroyed 400 of his watercolours and oil paintings. Although he continued to paint until his death, his profile gradually faded and Russell was never put on the same pedestal as his counterparts in history’s eye.

At NGV’s Australian Impressionists in France Russell’s ‘Peonies and Head of a Woman' (1887) is on show among 130 other paintings by Australian artists who worked and lived in France. NGV Curator Elena Taylor describes Russell’s work as extraordinary, "It’s probably the most progressive work painted by an Australian artist at that time,” she says in admiration. The painting captures a point in time when Russell explored Impressionist techniques – like short brushstrokes and unmixed colours – to represent light in new ways.

By the late 19th century, Paris was the world capital of art, and the city encouraged artists with government support in the form of annual salons and commissions for public art around the city. “Paris was the first great modern metropolis,” Taylor says. “It was an exciting place to live and it attracted art students from all around the world, including Australia.”

Sign up to our monthly art newsletter

First published on . Updated on .

By Isabel Dunstan   |  

Australian Impressionists in France details

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

180 St Kilda Rd

Southbank 3006

Nearby Stations: Flinders Street

Telephone 03 8620 2222

Price from $10.00 to $16.00

Date 15 Jun 2013-06 Oct 2013

Open Tue-Sun 10am-5pm

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia details

Southbank area guide

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia map

Restaurants near The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

The Tea Room

23m - The Tea Room is part of the NGV serving a dozen kinds of cuppa including...


48m - One cannot live on art alone, so after filling your mind with the wonder of...

Fatto Bar and Cantina

108m - Located on the terrace at Hamer Hall, Fatto offers simple Italian dishes for...

Bars & pubs near The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

P.J. O'Brien's

406m - One of Melbourne's premier Irish pubs, you'll find the walls splashed with...

Chill On Ice Lounge & Ski Lodge

440m - Have a rest from the hot weather this winter and chill at -10º in the...


529m - Located at the top floor of the Transport Hotel, Transit is a cocktail...

Other venues near The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia

NGV International

38m - The NGV is a grand modernist building where major blockbuster shows are...

Southbank Theatre

101m - Located at 140 Southbank Boulevard, the award-winning Southbank Theatre...

Arts Centre Melbourne

102m - Arts Centre Melbourne is the umbrella venue that houses the Hamer Hall,...

Readers' comments, reviews, hints and pictures

Community guidelines

blog comments powered by Disqus

© 2007 - 2014 Time Out Group Ltd. All rights reserved. All material on this site is © Time Out.