Rare paintings in Sotheby's Australia auction

Author: Richard Brewster | Posted: 24th August, 2015

More than 100 art works with an estimated value of $5.9 million to $8.2 million are being offered at Sotheby’s Australia Important Australian Art sale from 6.30pm Tuesday August 25 at the InterContinental Sydney, 117 Macquarie Street in Sydney.

The auction features a strong selection of historical, modern and contemporary Australian art.

Of particular note is Sidney Nolan’s The Emu Hunt 1949 – never before exhibited in Australia since it left Australian soil more than 60 years ago.

Another painting to excite buyers is John Russell’s Ariadne, painted in 1883 a year after he returned from London ‘s Slade School of Art.

Russell is recognised as Australia’s original Impressionist and was a confidante of Vincent van Gogh and friend to Claude Monet.

Ariadne is most ambitious and celebrated formative subject, bearing the hallmarks of the Neo-classical ideal of the late 19th century and the influence of Frederick Leighton – one of renowned exponents.

One of Jeffrey Smart’s most sophisticated and finest compositions Morning Practice, Baia 1959, that has spent more than 40 years in an international private collection, is another strong inclusion.

Four Arthur Streeton paintings from the collection of his greatest patron Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer have been consigned the collector’s descendants.

Gloucester 1894 is a rare composition of rural New South Wales where the artist tries to capture “the beautiful inland Australia”.

A rare collection of oil paintings by Australian war artist Stella Bowen (1893-1947 one of the first women to be appointed to the role) is another highlight.

Only one of her works has been auctioned in the past 40 years as the Australian War Memorial holds most of her paintings.

Six paintings have been consigned from the Postgate Family Collection – four of which were included in her 2002 retrospective Stella Bowen: Love and War.

One of the works is a portrait of Raymond Postgate 1922 and another Interior Paris

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