Heroes and Villains: Strutt's Australia' is a a major exhibition focused on the work of William Strutt (18251915). Strutt was a renowned mid-19th century artist who produced many works including watercolours, portraits, prints, preparatory sketches and large paintings. He was trained in Ιcole des Beaux-Arts, the most prestigious European art academy based in Paris. Strutt painted many notable Victorians including John Pascoe Fawkner and his wife Eliza, Governor Sir Edward Macarthur, Colonel Neill, John O'Shannassy, Frederick James Sargood and Robert O'Hara Burke. He also created grand narrative works with intricate dramatic scenes. Most importantly, his works provide today's public with a distinctive visual record of colonial life in mid-19th century Australia.
'A group I met on my way to the diggings', William Strutt, c 1859. Victoria the Golden, sketchbook, Victorian Parliamentary Library
This remarkable exhibition is the most comprehensive of William Strutt's work ever staged in Melbourne. It brings together more than 100 works. This is only possible through the collaboration and support from the National Library's collection and works held by the University of Melbourne, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria in addition to those in the State Library Victoria. Best of all, its FREE.
Through the works, you and your family can witness Melbourne's golden age when gold was discover and Victoria was a separate colony where bushrangers roamed and explorers launched bold expeditions. You will also enjoy behind-the-scenes glimpse of how these extraordinary artworks were created and explore the historical, cultural and political factors that define Victoria's identity. Don't miss this rare art opportunity. Here is an overview of the FREE exhibition and public talks.
Portrait of John Pascoe Fawkner, William Strutt, National Library of Australia
You can enjoy an hour-long guided tour of the exhibition in the Keith Murdoch Gallery on selected days and times. The tour is led by guest curator Matthew Jones from the National Library of Australia. He will share the story of Strutt's life and work including his training in Paris and his rise to fame as the first great exponent of history painting in Australia. Spaces are limited and bookings are essential. Click here to reserve your space
Date & Time: 14 July - 11:00am 12:00pm
14 July - 6:00pm 7:00pm 15 July - 2:00pm 3:00pm 16 July - 11:00am 12:00pm
16 July - 3:00pm 4:00pm
William Strutt, 'Bushrangers, Victoria, Australia, 1852' (detail), 1887, oil on canvas, The University of Melbourne Art Collection, gift of the Russell and Mab Grimwade Bequest, 1973
The newly formed colony in Victoria was filled with tales of bushrangers who bailed up and robbed the public. Join this talk at the Keith Murdoch Gallery and learn more about the lawlessness in as captured by Strutt's painting. Click here to reserve your space.
Date & Time: 27 July - 11:00am 11:45am
William Strutt, Black Thursday, February 6th, 1851 (detail),1864, oil on canvas, State Library Victoria
Join the talk on Strutt's magnum opus in the Keith Murdoch Gallery. This powerful piece was painted 11 years after a cataclysmic bushfire engulfed huge swathes of Victoria. Click here to reserve your space.
Date & Time:
4 August - 6:00pm 6:45pm
23 August - 11:00am 11:45am
The burial of Burke (detail), William Strutt, 1911, oil on canvas, State Library of Victoria
Head over to the Keith Murdoch Gallery for a talk about this tragic piece on the great Victorian explorers Burke and Wills. Strutt bid them farewell as they set out for the Gulf of Carpenteria. 50 years later, he painted this piece as an elegy to the adventurers. Click here to reserve your space.
This looks really cool. I attended their last exhibition on etchings and I must say it is an eyeopener. Thanks weekendnotes for sharing info on free exhibits, a good diversion while waiting for an appointment in the city.