Audio Descriptions: NGV Collection Highlights

Hear detailed descriptions of six artworks from the NGV Collection produced in collaboration with Description Victoria.

Each artwork is accompanied by two tracks. The first track includes the artwork description plus some factual information. The second track for each artwork is a piece of music selected to complement the work.

Image captions are available at the bottom of this page.

Artwork number 1: John Brack, Collins St, 5p.m., 1955

Detailed description:

Related music:
John Brack’s widow, Helen, selected music by Béla Bartok as it is “filled with angst, as is John’s picture.”
Béla Bartók, arranged by Charles Berry, ‘Viola Concerto Adagio’, released 2018

Artwork number 2: KATSUSHIKA HOKUSAI, THE GREAT WAVE OFF KANAGAWA, C. 1830, FROM THE THIRTY-SIX VIEWS OF MT FUJI SERIES, 1830-1834

Detailed description:

Related music:
Wayne Crothers, Senior Curator, Asian Art, selected this energetic Japanese music for its sense of movement and great drama.
Kasumi Sato, ‘Three Dragons’ & Paul Edward Clarvis, ‘Kodo Ceremonial’, mixed 2020

Artwork number 3: Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anwerlarr anganenty (Big yam Dreaming), 1995

Detailed description:

Related music:
In this recording, Professor Deborah Cheetham AO, Yorta Yorta woman, soprano, composer and educator, introduces her composition Article 27, recorded with Rubik’s Collective in 2020.

Artwork number 4: Giambattista Tiepolo, The Banquet of Cleopatra, 1743–44

Detailed description:

Related music:
Ted Gott, Senior Curator, International Art, selected George Handel’s Water Music. Handel was renowned in Italy since working in Florence and Venice in the first decade of the 18th century. Although composed in England, his 1717 Water Music is fitting for Cleopatra’s command of the sea in 33 BCE.
George Frideric Handel, performed by City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Richard Hein, ‘Water Music, Suite in F Major, HWV 348’, released 2009

Artwork number 5: Lee Krasner, Combat, 1965

Detailed description:

Related music:
Ted Gott, Senior Curator, International Art, selected this song for its sense of protest and uprising.
Christopher Francis Hanson, ‘In the Fire MCM’, released 2019

Artwork number 6: Iris van Herpen, Dress, 2011

Detailed description:

Related music:
Danielle Whitfield, Senior Curator, Fashion and Textiles, selected this song as it evokes the atmosphere created with a dramatic soundscape, when this work was first presented on runway in July 2018.
Frances Jacobs, ‘Run for Your Life (Instrumental)’, released 2020

Artwork number 1: John BRACK, Collins St, 5p.m. 1955 (detail), oil on canvas, 114.8 x 162.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased, 1956. © Helen Brack

Artwork number 2: Katsushika HOKUSAI, The great wave off Kanagawa (c. 1830) (detail) from the Thirty-six views of Mt Fuji series 1826-33, colour woodblock, 25.7 x 37.7 cm (image and sheet). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1909

Artwork number 3: Emily Kam Kngwarray, Anwerlarr anganenty (Big yam Dreaming) 1995 (detail), synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 291.1 x 801.8 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Donald and Janet Holt and family, Governors, 1995. © Emily Kam Kngwarray/Licensed by Copyright Agency, Australia

Artwork number 4: Giambattista TIEPOLO, The Banquet of Cleopatra (1743-1744) (detail), oil on canvas, 250.3 x 357.0 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1933

Artwork number 5: Lee KRASNER, Combat 1965 (detail), oil on canvas, 179.0 x 410.4 cm. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Felton Bequest, 1992. © Lee Krasner/ARS, New York. Licensed by Copyright Agency, Australia

Artwork number 6: Iris van HERPEN, Dress 2011 (detail), acrylic, nylon (tulle), metal, 78.0 cm (centre back) 35.0 cm (waist, flat). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Purchased with funds donated by Norma and Stuart Leslie, 2016. © Iris van Herpen