Choose one of the places where two or more of the artists worked (e.g. Mentone, Sydney, Richmond in NSW) and look at a range of paintings about this place.
What general observations can you make about this place (e.g. physical characteristics, land use, human activity) based on clues in the paintings?
Compare and contrast two paintings of this place. Suggest reasons for the similarities and differences you find.
Find a painting that you believe was painted en plein air.
What clues are there that the painting may have been made en plein air?
Describe the light, colour and atmospheric effects in the painting and how the artist has created these effects.
Select a portrait that interests you.
What does the portrait tell us about the sitter? How are these ideas conveyed by the artist (consider the use of art elements, composition and the pose, gestures, dress of the sitter)?
Find a narrative painting.
Explain the story (e.g. characters, place and time)?
Explain how the artist has used the elements of art and composition and/or symbolism to construct a story in this painting.
Suggest why this story may have been of interest to this artist and audiences of the period?
Imagine you are organising an exhibition about ‘Australian national identity’ and you are looking for two paintings to include in your exhibition to represent how national identity was understood and expressed in the late nineteenth century.
Based on your observation of the paintings in this exhibition, identify the two paintings that you feel would add the most visual impact and meaning to your exhibition. Explain your choices.
Look at the style and technique of a range of paintings.
Identify a painting that clearly demonstrates a direct painting technique (obvious brushstrokes and bold or broad areas of colour and tone). What visual effects are created using this technique? Suggest why the artists used this technique for this painting.
Identify a painting that includes a more traditional painting technique (smooth brushstrokes and carefully blended areas of colour and tone inside clear outlines). What visual effects are created using this technique? Suggest why the artist used this technique for this painting.
Find the 9 by 5 Impression Exhibition paintings.
What do these paintings have in common (consider style, size and presentation)?
How do they differ from other paintings in the exhibition?
Suggest why the artists chose to present the paintings in simple wooden frames?
What does the experience of seeing these works in the original, in their frames and as a group add to your understanding of these works?
Why do you think the artists thought it was important to organise a special exhibition of these paintings?
What is your personal response to the paintings and their presentation?
Choose an artist in the exhibition whose work interests you.
Select three paintings by this artist that you feel represent the key aspects of this artist’s work.
Briefly describe what is represented in each painting, how it is represented and what ideas, feelings or moods the painting expresses.
What interests you personally about this artist’s work?
What else would you like to know about this artist and these works? Where will you look for this information?
Find a painting that you have seen in a reproduction before visiting the exhibition.
How has your understanding of the painting changed by viewing it in the original? Explain why.