Artist John Russell from Australia - perhaps the most "impressionistic" native of this continent - lived and worked in Europe for four decades. A unique relationship with the French avant-garde in the 1880s and 1890s left an imprint on his work before he moved to new directions at the turn of the century. Now the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney for the first time in 40 years organized a retrospective of this outstanding colorist, collecting 120 paintings, drawings and watercolors from private and public collections around the world. The exhibition was named "John Russell. The Australian Impressionist in France ».
Exhibits in Sydney have sent such leading institutions of the world as the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Orsay Museum in Paris and the Art Museum of Philadelphia. "Face" of the retrospective was the landscape of "Mrs. Russell among flowers in the garden of Gulfar, Belle-Ile," written in 1907, and the second in the list of major paintings - a portrait of Vincent van Gogh, which John Russell wrote in 1886 in a realistic style. In Sydney, this picture is displayed next to Van Gogh's Self-Portrait in the Felt Hat, which was created in 1886 - 1887. Both works demonstrate a close affinity between the practices of both artists at the time.
Among other important exhibits of this retrospective are the twelve Russell paintings from the Orsay Museum, including those that have never been to Australia; six magnificent paintings with flowers of 1887, inspired by Van Gogh and now stored in public and private collections; "Morning" and "Day", written in Antibes and the last time shown together in London in 1891; as well as the bright "Morning on the island of Belle-Ile", exhibited at the Salon of 1905, where Matisse and his friends were christened "wild beasts" (fauvists). The last landscape now belongs to a private collector in England.
In addition to the works of John Russell himself, the exhibition presents a small number of works by his contemporaries - two paintings by Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Tom Roberts and Vincent Van Gogh, and five sculptures by Auguste Rodin.