Charles Conder: 9 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Bronte Beach (1888) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Charles Conder was one of a celebrated group of artists who painted landscapes outdoors around Sydney and Melbourne during the 1880s. Together with Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton he was a major instigator of the groundbreaking 9 by 5 impressions exhibition in Melbourne in 1889.'

Departure of the Orient - Circular Quay (1888) by Charles ConderArt Gallery of New South Wales

'He returned to Europe six years later to become a legendary figure of the fin de siècle, mixing with leading artists and writers including Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Oscar Wilde. Exhibited in Sydney in 1888, 'Departure of the Orient -- Circular Quay' was Conder's impressive artistic debut.'

Hot Wind (1889) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Certainly, Conder felt it was one of his best paintings and his artist friend Arthur Streeton was impressed and delighted by the way that the design broke with tradition. In a letter of 1889 Conder wrote that Hot wind represented the harshness of drought.'

Impressionists' camp (1889) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Streeton's image, however, is painted in a golden palette celebrating the new energies of spring, while Conder's painting, with its deep browns and greens, can be seen as his lyrical farewell to long evenings, songs and dear friends; he left soon after for Europe, where he remained until his death in 1909. In Europe, in a response to Aestheticism and the fin de siècle, he established a reputation as a decorative artist, a painter of imaginative images of sexual intrigue and of people dressed in exquisite costumes in elegant settings.'

Ricketts Point, Beaumaris (1890) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Working primarily in Sydney and Melbourne between 1884 and 1890, Conder suggested in much of his work the subtle moods and poetic qualities of nature. He painted with the energy and enthusiasm of a young man, delighting in the visual world around him and spurred on by the friendly rivalry of his painting companions, Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton.'

Herrick's Blossoms (c.1888) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Conder, Streeton and Roberts shared an interest in using fresh colours and energetic brushstrokes with the Impressionists Monet and Pissarro.'

The Yarra, Heidelberg (1890) by Charles CONDERNational Gallery of Australia

'Conder rarely worked on such a large scale, and was probably encouraged by the success of Streeton's bathing pictures, especially Spring, painted nearby only a few months earlier. Streeton's image, however, is painted in a golden palette celebrating the new energies of spring, while Conder's painting, with its deep browns and greens, can be seen as his lyrical farewell to long evenings, songs and dear friends; he left soon after for Europe, where he remained until his death in 1909.'

Rickett's Point (1890) by Charles ConderNational Gallery of Victoria

'In the short time between making a thumbnail sketch of the picture for the catalogue of the Victorian Artists' Society winter exhibition, and the opening of the exhibition on 29 March, 1890, Conder also repainted large areas of the surface, adding important elements such as the pole on the left, the girl in the blue dress in the centre and the dark bush on the right.'

An Impressionist (Tom Roberts) (circa 1889) by Charles ConderArt Gallery of New South Wales

'The playful zig-zagged background -- based on a surveyor's chain, referring to the young artist's early employment in Sydney -- prefigures Conder's decorative style, characteristic of his later European work, as well as echoing the cover of the 9 by 5 exhibition catalogue which he designed.'

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