When visiting new places there are some places that top my list of “must visit” and art galleries are right up there at the top of the list.
So on the first day in Sydney we made a bee line, across the botanic gardens, via St Mary’s Cathedral (more of those later) and into the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Apart from appreciating the magnificent and varied paintings I also noticed the many windows.
Dawn of “The Day After” is responsible for my obsession with windows as she runs a challenge each week for us to showcase windows we find.
So here they are….
The classically elegant Art Gallery of NSW is one of Sydney’s most distinctive landmarks. The façade and old wing of the Gallery were built between 1896 and 1909. Architecturally, the building reflects 19th-century ideas about the cultural role of a gallery as a temple to art and civilising values. Yet early designs for the Gallery were less confident about the institution’s role and image. The present building is the work of government architect Walter Liberty Vernon, who secured the prestigious commission over the less conventional architect John Horbury Hunt.
The story of building the Gallery reads like a sensational novel. All the elements – intrigue, personal animosity and nepotism – are present. That the institution acquired such a fine historic building is almost fortuitous. (click here to read more)
The views through the windows are also works of art, and the windows are scattered all over the building in corners. They fascinated me.
The restaurant fascinated me as it had windows looking in from the gallery and windows looking out to the interesting view. A window watchers delight…
This gallery showcased an exhibition of still life art hanging on the walls, and this sculpture of still life dominated the centre of the room, but look at those windows at the back of the room.
An interesting wall with an installation of reflective windows
Finally, nothing to do with windows, but I will share with you one of my favourite work of art. For me this painting brings back memories of my days in New Zealand when I milked cows. I am constantly amazed that, as long as you do not use flash or a tripod, you can take photographs of the art work.
Spring Frost. Elioth Gruner
Awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and painted the same year as Roland Wakelin’s and Roy de Maistre’s experiments in colour harmony, ‘Spring frost’ is one of Elioth Gruner’s most critically acclaimed achievements. With its impeccable sense of light and tone, and its vigorous foreground brushwork, ‘Spring frost’ is a tour de force, and perhaps the most loved Australian landscape painting in the Gallery.
Elioth Gruner painted ‘Spring frost’ according to 19th-century plein-air conventions, but the work also demonstrates a contemporary succinctness of form. To complete the painting – one of his largest compositions – en plein air, Gruner built a structure to protect the canvas from the weather, and wrapped his legs with chaff bags to avoid frostbite. Although painted largely outdoors at Emu Plains, its large size and somewhat theatrical quality make it likely that Gruner completed parts of it later, in his city studio.