Dictionary of Sydney: Artist Camps of Sydney Harbour

The enthusiasm for painting outdoors, embraced by the Impressionist movement in France, hit Sydney in the 1880s. A handful of artist camps were established around Sydney Harbour in the last two decades of the 19th century, leading to a prolific creative outpouring of landscape paintings. Two of the most famous ones were at Balmoral Beach and Little Sirius Cove.

Lisa from Dictionary of Sydney joined Alex James on Breakfast to discuss.


You can experience the harbourside beauty of Sirius Cove for yourself on the Curlew Camp Artists’ Walk developed by Mosman Council and Taronga Zoo. The walk is about 1.6km, follows the route around Little Sirius Cove used to access the artists’ camp in the 1890s, and there are interpretive signs along the way.

A detailed map is available from Mosman Council’s website. https://www.mosman.nsw.gov.au/planning-and-development/heritage/mosmans-heritage/

And there is a retrospective of Streeton’s work at the Art Gallery of NSW on exhibition until 14 February 2021. https://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/streeton/

Image from Dictionary of Sydney

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