In the front hall, there is beautiful old terrazzo (I think that's what it's called) flooring, (unfortunately partly obliterated with a fairly ugly sculpture by that Angel of the North bloke - Gormley? Gormless, in this case, possibly [hilarious, aren't I? No, pathetic]):
After Glover come Streeton and Roberts. I am fond of this painting of Redfern Station by Arthur Streeton, even though it is not like his usual subjects i.e. it doesn't include the vivid blue skies that are a part of so many of his paintings:
Here are some details of the painting - it will probably amaze some overseas readers to learn that it is possible to have a day when the sun doesn't shine in Sydney (not something the tourist board ever tells you):
Some more typical Streetons followed. This one is called From my Camp (Sirius Cove) and the label tells us was painted from a corner of the beach at Little Sirius Cove at Mosman Bay, the site of an idyllic artists' painting camp known as Curlew Camp, where Streeton stayed with Tom Roberts leading what the label writer considers 'a bohemian lifestyle ... under canvas shelters [don't most of us call those tents?] and commuting to the city by boat.' The label also includes a direct quote from Streeton himself written in 1890:
"Sydney is an artists' city - glorious - Roberts & I go to Mossman's Bay [sic] & pull through the lazy green water, & then lunch under the shade in the open air, eggs, meat, cheese & 2 big bottles of claret grown in Australia. The little Bay seemed all asleep & so very peaceful"
Those were certainly the days - and quite frankly two big bottles of claret between just two of us would have meant I'd have been all asleep, but then I am neither a man nor a painter.
This one is called 'Still glides the stream, and shall for ever glide' and was painted in 1890 at the Eaglemont Homestead near Heidelberg in Victoria, when Streeton was only 22 years old. The scene presents an idealised vision of the Yarra River with the spires of Doncaster in the middle distance and the Dandenongs beyond. The title is from Wordsworth's sonnet 'Conclusion, from a poem cycle called The River Duddon. There is then some guff about Romantic expressions of mortality, which I can supply in a plain brown paper envelope to anyone who really wants it:
To be continued.