Melbourne Light


Sebastian Smee described the Heidelberg School’s tonality as, ‘Blue skies, shifting heat and sharp shadows…high contrasts between light and shade, blinding highlights, saturated local colour’.[1] The Heidelberg school painted within kilometres of where I live.  Tom Roberts could have ridden his bike past both my house, and the Darebin Bridge Hotel where Ian Fairweather stayed 50 years later, on his way to and from Heidelberg. Smee’s description of light is relevant. Compared to London, Melbourne light is harsh and stark. Take the built world away and the contrasts between light and shade here is close to black and white. 


     1.  Sebastian Smee, ‘Australian pastoral’, Weekend Australian, April 14–15, 2007, Review, 20.

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