A group of four painters has the honour of representing the Australian impressionists in the first ever UK show devoted to this offshoot of the French movement. The impact of European painters such as Whistler, Degas, Manet and Monet, is revealed in the painting of Tom Roberts, Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder and John Russell, all of whom studied and worked in Europe. In common with the French Impressionists, they adopted the radical technique of working outside rather than in the studio and experimented with effects of light and colour in their work. John Russell observed Monet painting in Brittany and mentored the young Matisse before returning and settling in Sydney in the 1920s. Despite his connections he rarely showed his work and became known as the ‘lost Impressionist’. The National Gallery show has a significant section devoted to landscape based on the practice of painting en plein air and resilience in the face of the sometimes harsh and unforgiving Australian environment is a recurrent theme.
Until March 26th at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London
In the Morning, Alpes Maritimes from Antibes, 1890-91 oil on canvas Courtesy National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Until March 26th at the National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London