Sirius Cove

Arthur STREETON: artist

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Not On Display

About the work

The young Australian artists of the 1880s and 1890s saw themselves as bohemian figures, meeting regularly to discuss art, read poetry, and drink wine. This camaraderie extended to the artist camps they set up for plein air painting on the outskirts of Melbourne at places like Mentone, Heidelberg and Eaglemont. The idea of the artist camp – a place where natural beauty could be appreciated, in opposition to the materialism of city life – appealed to artists such as Streeton and Roberts, who subscribed to the idea of the moral superiority of art and nature. Streeton’s pleasure in painting at these artists’ camps was to be replicated when he moved to Sydney in the 1890s. One of the artist camps in Sydney, Curlew Camp, was located on the north shore of the harbour, at Little Sirius Cove near Mosman. Streeton’s view in Sirius Cove of the sparkling sunlight on water, trees and rocks, each of which is treated of equal importance in the composition, celebrates the beauty of the place as well as the harbour as a site of freedom and relaxation. His loosely impressionistic painting style, the use of the square brush, the lack of an obvious subject, the use of heightened colour, and his practice of painting on elongated panels to create unexpected compositions, echoed the perception of Sydney as a relaxed city in contrast to Melbourne.
Sirius Cove
Artist/Maker and role
Arthur STREETON: artist
c 1890
oil on cedar panel
12.0 x 22.3 cm;
40 x 50.5 x 3 cm (framed)
Credit line
Purchased 1975
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.