Yesterday I went with a friend to see the Victorian Visions exhibition now on at the AGNSW. It features the work from John Schaeffer's collection. Schaeffer is a pretty awesome guy - he funded the creation of the Schaeffer fine arts library at Sydney Uni, donated heaps of spectacular paintings to the AGNSW and has generally suported art historians in Sydney, particuarly those with an interest in Victorian art, simply because he loves the stuff. What a champion! And what great taste (if you ask me!).
I wrote my honours thesis on Holman Hunt and Simeon Solomon, both Victorian Pre-Raphaelite painters. There were pictures by both artists in this exhibition and it was pretty exciting to see their work in the flesh for the first time. The exhibition got a pretty raw review in The Australian, Christopher Allen wrote that the subjects were obscure and the style quite difficult for modern audiences to relate to. He is probably right - the Victorians loved their obscure biblical and literary references (particularly the Brits!) but that is what I love about the work. It is often so bizarre! But also devastatingly beautiful. I will have to do a post some time on some of my most beloved paintings.
I took this photo on our way into the gallery. A little girl had tied up her teddy while she went off into the park to play. So sweet!