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Culture, Painting

Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Boyd, Australian painters, Tom Roberts, Aboriginal Australians

Long before the arrival of Europeans, Aboriginal Australians executed elaborate paintings on rock and bark. The value of early paintings by European immigrants lies primarily in their importance as a record of the settlement of the country. Not until the 1880s did the first generation of white Australian artists, unhampered by the restrictions of European discipline, capture the unique Australian scenery, its light, and atmospheric color. This group of painters was known as the Heidelberg School; it included Tom Roberts, Frederick McCubbin, and Sir Arthur Streeton. From the early 1940s the work of Australian artists reflected a gradual transition from the generally accepted traditional school to the modern style. Australian painters of the 20th century included Sir William Dobell, known for his portraits; George Russell Drysdale, noted for depictions of the isolated inhabitants of the interior of the country; and Frederick Ronald Williams, whose landscapes and seascapes were notable for their quality of light. The work of Sidney Nolan, based on themes derived from Australian history and folklore, has achieved world renown, as has that of Arthur Boyd. Modern Aboriginal artists, drawing on traditional styles and themes, found receptive audiences in Europe and North America in the late 20th century.

Article key phrases:

Frederick McCubbin, Arthur Boyd, Australian painters, Tom Roberts, Aboriginal Australians, traditional school, Australian history, European immigrants, world renown, Heidelberg School, seascapes, folklore, bark, settlement, modern style, portraits, landscapes, century, rock, importance, themes, depictions, interior, North America, record, country


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