Young art collectors eye traditional streeton and roberts works


After many years out of circulation, the masterpieces of revered Impressionists Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts are set to go under hammer on Wednesday.

Streeton The Center of the Empire (1902) is one of the Victorian-born artist’s first efforts to recreate what he saw in London around the turn of the century.

Chris Deutscher by Deutscher and Hackett with Tom Roberts’ painting A Modern Andromeda, 1892 (immediately left) and The Center of the Empire by Arthur Streeton, 1902 (right).Credit:Joe armao

Listed between $ 1.2 and $ 1.6 million, the impressive work represents Trafalgar Square in the characteristic drizzle of the city, created using pastel hues. Owned by the Creswick family since 1919, the 122.5 x 122.5 centimeter piece has been on loan to numerous exhibitions over the years.

Roberts A modern Andromeda, 1891-92, also auctioned, has spent more than a century in private hands in France. An exquisite piece, it depicts a young woman in a blue dress sitting under a parasol and was created on the rocks around Sirius Cove in Sydney. Measuring just 45 x 10.8 centimeters, it is a prime example of the artist’s work, completed at the height of his career. Its selling price is $ 400,000 to $ 600,000.

Streeton and Roberts’ work is one of the most recognizable in Australian canon and these paintings are expected to fetch high, potentially record-breaking prices, said Chris Deutscher, executive director of Deutscher and Hackett.

Detail of a modern Andromeda by Tom Roberts.

Detail of a modern Andromeda by Tom Roberts.Credit:

“Everything looks pretty rosy, but in the end it takes two to tango,” says Deutscher. “With our latest Venetian Streeton, who set that record $ 3 million, we were pretty much in the dark until the last day. People don’t always show their hands – you may have reserved one or two phones, but they may not bid.

Deutscher has seen a surprising trend over the past five years or so: young buyers are looking to collect traditional art, with key names Streeton, Roberts and Frederick McCubbin. Australian artists such as Clarice Beckett are also garnering more interest and higher prices – her works are on view on Wednesday.

Big exhibitions in Australia’s major galleries are behind this trend and keep these works in the public eye. (Streeton at the Art Gallery of NSW in 2020; Roberts at the NGA in Canberra in 2016; this year Clarice Beckett at the Art Gallery of South Australia; and McCubbin currently in Geelong are recent stars.) Deutscher says young collectors are Also increasingly aware of Australian art history and the quality of the works themselves are an obvious part of the draw.


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