Lieutenant Arthur Ernest Streeton
|Birth date:||08 May 1867|
|Birth place:||Australia: Victoria, Geelong, Mount Duneed|
|Death date:||02 September 1943|
|Death place:||Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Olinda|
|Conflict:||First World War, 1914-1918|
Arthur Streeton was one of Australia's best known landscape painters and member of the "Heidelberg school". Born at Mt Duneed, Victoria, in 1867, he studied at the National Gallery School from 1884 to 1887. He was apprenticed as a lithographer with Troedel and Cooper, Melbourne, until 1888 when he left to take up painting full-time.
During the 1880s Streeton was one of a group of young Australian artists who took up the French tradition of painting outdoors. He produced direct works that were believed to capture the distinctive qualities of the Australian sunlight. Later paintings created images of Australia that were widely regarded as embodying the essence of national character.
Anxious for success overseas, Streeton left Australia for Europe in 1897. When the First World War broke out he was living in London. Since he was too old for military service he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and worked as an orderly at the 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, alongside other Australian artists, including Tom Roberts, A. Henry Fullwood and George Coates.
After his discharge as medically unfit, Streeton lobbied for the establishment of an Australian war art scheme. He was offered a commission by the Canadian government but declined, preferring to work for Australia. He was appointed an official war artist in May 1918, sent to France and attached to the 2nd Division AIF.
Streeton worked mostly around the Somme battlefields until mid-August 1918, when he returned to London. His drawings, watercolours and paintings show the AIF headquarters at St Gratien, Glisy and Heilly, the dressing stations at Villers-Bretonneaux, landscape studies and scenes of wrecked machinery. In October and November Streeton returned to France, again with the 2nd Division. This time his works concentrated on the destruction around Peronne.
Back in London, Streeton completed his contract as an official war artist with The Somme valley near Corbie, a large landscape showing the opening stages of the second battle of the Somme. With a peaceful rural landscape dominating the foreground and an artillery barrage set in the far distance, the painting embodies Streeton's observation, (in a letter to Sir Baldwin Spencer) that
"True pictures of Battlefields are very quiet looking things. There's nothing much to be seen - everybody & thing is hidden & camouflaged - it is only in the Illustrated papers one gets a real idea of Battle as it occurs in the mind of the man whose never been there".
Streeton returned to Australia in 1920, a famous and popular artist. He was knighted for his services to art in 1937 and died at Olinda, Victoria, in 1943.
Artists sketchbook covering the campaign in the Somme Valley, May 1918. The sketchbook comprises 21 pages, two loose sheets, and two blank pages, with 16 drawings of landscapes, and depictions of a review of the 2nd Division for General Sir Charles Rosenthal. Notes on the inside cover and sketches...
Artists sketchbook covering the campaign in the Somme Valley, May 1918. The sketchbook comprises 17 pages, two loose sheets, and five blank pages, with 16 drawings of landscapes, encampments and bomb dumps. Places depicted include Somme River, Glisy, Vaux-sur-Somme, Amiens, Chuignolles, and Corbie....
Depicts part of an encampment on a road towards Corbie. ART12646 matches up with this work as the left hand side of the complete sketch and was excised by Streeton from the sketchbook. This sketchbook is from Streeton's first official war artist commission to France 14 May-13 August 1918 where he...
Sketch of a train that has been halted on tracks with a person standing next to the train. Traveller's are looking from the train. To the left is an incline with telegraph lines. The verso sketch is of a train travelling across the horizon with explosions visible in the background This sketchbook...
A poster depicting an exhibition 'Streeton in France 1918' held at the Australian War Memorial from 1st May - 31st August 1982. The poster contains an image of the watercolour and pencil sketch 'Mericourt'. Arthur Streeton is best known as one of the painters of the Heidelberg School in Melbourne...
Sketch of a cityscape with a river in the foreground and barges full of people onboard. This could possibly be some sort of victory celebration towards the end of the First World War. The city is possibly Boulogne as it bears a similarity to ART12630. Boulogne, was one of the three base ports most...
The left hand side [upside down] of a sketch of a cityscape with a river in the foreground and barges full of people onboard. This could possibly be some sort of victory celebration towards the end of the First World War. The city is possibly Boulogne as it bears a similarity to ART12630. Boulogne,...
Preliminary sketch of ruined buildings in the town of Peronne with what appears to be a river in the background and landscape. This sketch shows the aftermath of the damage wreaked on Peronne. Peronne was the objective of an intensive series of operations mounted by the Australian Corps between 29...
Collection consists of two albums containing bound and loose items including printed poems; photographs of Gallipoli; Mena Camp and soldiers convalescing; letters from soldiers recovered from wounds; newspaper cuttings of Lt Spencer Gray, RNAS; typewritten songs (untitled); ink sketches;...
Maker: Turing, Lady Ethel
Streeton, Arthur (Lieutenant, 1. RAMC Territorial Force 2. Official War Artist, AWRS b.1867 - d.1943)
PERSONAL PAPERS RELATING TO STREETON'S SERVICE WITH RAMC TERRITORIAL FORCE AND 2 DIV AIF. AIF HQ INSTRUCTIONS FOR EMPLOYMENT AS A WAR ARTIST. LETTER FROM SIR JOHN MONASH ACCEPTING STREETON'S OFFER OF PAINTINGS TO THE NAVAL AND MILITARY CLUB
|Date of birth||1867-05-08|
|Date of death||1943-09-02|