To mark the anniversary of the opening of the first federal parliament in Melbourne on 9 May 1901, the NGV is mounting a special exhibition of 19th and 20th century Australian art, CommonWealth: a Tribute to Federation, in the Murdoch Gallery of the National Gallery of Victoria on Russell.
The exhibition comprises 40 paintings and includes national icons such as John Glover's The River Nile, Van Diemen's Land, from Mr Glover's farm and Jeffrey Smart's Cahill Expressway from the Gallery's collection and key loans from private collections.
The works of art have been chosen to reflect identity, nationalism and key developments that have contributed to our understanding of Australia and its peoples.
An overarching rural / urban theme has been chosen for the exhibition, with the works grouped together under the following titles: the primeval landscape, immigration / multiculturalism, rural industry, cities and gender. There are many surprising and thought-provoking juxtapositions.