Monday, May 19, 2008

Australian painters

When the first artists arrived in colonial Australia from Europe in the late 18th century, they were confronted by images and scenery the likes of which they had never seen:

...the whole appearance of nature must be striking in the extreme to the adventurer, and at first this will seem to him to be a country of enchantments.Thomas Watling, Letters From An Exile in Botany Bay, To His Aunt in Dumfries, 1794

The traditions of European art and painting did not fit comfortably with this strange and bewildering new landscape. Early artists tended to paint what they saw and the better the representation; the better the work was regarded.

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