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Collection

An image of Fire's on by Arthur Streeton
Alternate image of Fire's on by Arthur Streeton

Arthur Streeton

(Australia, England, Australia 08 Apr 1867 – 01 Sep 1943)

Title
Fire's on
Other titles:
"Fire's on" Lapstone tunnel
Place of origin
LapstoneNew South WalesAustralia
Year
1891
Media category
Painting
Materials used
oil on canvas
Dimensions

183.8 x 122.5 cm; 225.5 x 164.0 x 6.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., brown oil "Arthur StrEEton. 1891".
Credit
Purchased 1893
Accession number
832
Location
19th c Australian art
Further information

Arthur Streeton's visions of the landscape have defined an image of Australia. 'Fire's on' in particular is considered his greatest evocation of the country's heat and sunlight. Painted a year after the artist left Melbourne for Sydney, it constitutes a radical new type of landscape in his oeuvre. Its vertical composition and the high horizon line bring focus to the steep terrain with precarious rocks and dead tree-trunks.

The painting captures a critical moment during the construction of a railway line across the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney: the death of a railway worker in an explosion. 'Fire's on' was the warning call before the blast, as the gang dynamited the Lapstone Tunnel through the hillside. The human drama of the painting, however, is overshadowed by the heroism of the landscape itself.

Bibliography (126)

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Exhibition history (18)

Exhibition of paintings, sculpture and drawings, Victorian Artists Society, Melbourne, 27 May 1892 -

Fourteenth Annual Exhibition of the Art Society of New South Wales (1893), Society Rooms, Union Chambers, Sydney, 1893 -

Streeton's Sydney sunshine exhibition (1896), Exhibition Venue Unknown, 30 Nov 1896 -

Loan exhibition of the works of Arthur Streeton, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 20 Nov 1931–20 Jan 1932

150 years of Australian art (1938), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jan 1938–25 Apr 1938

Arthur Streeton memorial exhibition:

100 years of Australian painting (1948), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 19 Apr 1948–17 May 1948

A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953

Australian paintings by Arthur Streeton and Arthur Boyd: The XXIX Venice Biennale (1958), Exhibition Venue Unknown, 1958–1958

Fifteen decades of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 10 Apr 1981–24 May 1981

Golden Summers - Heidelberg and beyond:

The great Australian art exhibition:

Arthur Streeton:

Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000

Inventing New Britain: the Victorian vision, Victoria and Albert Museum, England, 05 Apr 2001–29 Jul 2001

Australian Impressionism, Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne, 31 Mar 2007–08 Jul 2007

The triumph of landscape: Turner to Monet, National Gallery of Australia, Parkes, 14 Mar 2008–09 Jul 2008

Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 21 Sep 2013–08 Dec 2013