Generally I’m not that keen on watercolour paintings. It’s usually the subject matter (often generic landscapes that featured strongly as the token pieces in motel rooms say 10-20 years ago though these days inked abstracts are the minimalist ideal). But it’s also that wishy washy nothingness that’s just so uninspiring.
Well casting that aside, I’ve found one I like today. I’m reading a book titled Victorian Watercolours which is an Art Gallery of NSW publication relating to an exhibition it has going at the moment. The first painting in the book is probably a touch too illustrative to be considered fine art but let’s not get technical. Titled ‘The gallery of the New Society of Painters in Water Colours’ 1834 by George Scharf, it’s a snapshot of an exhibition cluttered and ornate. I’m loving the fashion (no active wear there) and look at the subject matter in each of the art works. It could be a society exhibition today with its flowers and landscapes and portraits. Watercolour is just not that progressive in its nature.
Apparently watercolours were collected by the first trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW (though back then in 1885 the temporary gallery was called the National Gallery of NSW) due to their affordability. But these grand Aussies decided to stick with the colonialism of the time and travel to the motherland to raise the collection. What better way to educate and influence back in that austere Victorian era (1837-1901) than collect art from where one originated. Eventually Australian artists were added to the collection, Conrad Martens and Julian Ashton being amongst the first.
I have a feeling that this work that I’m loving today belongs to The Victoria and Albert Musem. So perhaps don’t expect to see it amongst the collection.
Cheers and have a wonderful arty afternoon🐱