Arthur Streeton

Sir Arthur Ernest Streeton (8 April 1867 1 September 1943) was an Australian landscape painter and leading member of the Heidelberg School, also known as Australian Impressionism.
About the same time, Streeton met the artist Charles Conder, who travelled down from Sydney in October 1888 at the invitation of Tom Roberts. One year Streeton's junior, Conder was already a committed plein airist, having been influenced by the painterly techniques of expatriate impressionist Girolamo Nerli. Conder and Roberts joined Streeton at Eaglemont in January 1889 and helped make some modest improvements to the house. Despite austere living conditions, Streeton felt content: "Surrounded by the loveliness of the new landscape, with heat, drought, and flies, and hard pressed for the necessaries of life, we worked hard, and were a happy trio." Streeton and Conder quickly became friends and influenced one another's art. Their shared love of South Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon's lyrical verse is revealed in the titles of some of their Eaglemont paintings, including Streeton's romantic gloaming work Above us the great grave sky (1890, taken from Gordon's poem "Doubtful Dreams"). Later, critics would describe some of the pair's Eaglemont paintings as companion pieces, as both artists often painted the same views and subjects using a high-keyed "gold and blue" palette, which Streeton considered "nature's scheme of colour in Australia".
After the war, Streeton resumed painting in the Grampians and Dandenong Ranges. Streeton built a house on five acres (20,000 m3) at Olinda in the Dandenongs where he continued to paint. He won the Wynne Prize in 1928 with Afternoon Light, Goulburn Valley. He was an art critic for The Argus from 1929 to 1935 and in 1937 was knighted for services to the arts. He married Esther Leonora Clench, a Canadian violinist, in 1908. Streeton died in September 1943. He is buried at Ferntree Gully cemetery.
Streeton's paintings are amongst the most collectible of Australian artists and attracted high prices during his lifetime. Golden Summer, Eaglemont sold for around 1000 guineas in 1924 and in 1995 it was bought in a private sale by the National Gallery of Australia for A$3.5 million, both times setting a sales record for an Australian painting. In 1985, Settler's Camp sold at auction for A$800,000 and this remained the record auction price for Streeton's work until 23 May 2005, when his 1890 painting, Sunlight Sweet, Coogee, was sold for A$2.04 million (A$1.853 million before tax), becoming only the second painting by an Australian artist to exceed the A$2 million mark at auction (after Frederick McCubbin's 1892 work Bush Idyll, which sold for A$2.3 million in 1998). The painting was part of the Foster's Group collection and was sold at auction by Sotheby's.