We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

Kids audio playlist

Come on a journey with Aiden and Matty through the Art Gallery of New South Wales collection.

This audio playlist has 47 stops and will teach you how to look at artworks and identify their styles.

Suitable for 5-12 year olds (with an adult)

Image: Sir Joshua Reynolds Stephen Croft (1744-1813) 1760, oil on canvas, 76.2 x 63.6 cm stretcher; 95.5 x 82.0 x 7 cm frame. Purchased 1965.

Image: Harriet Hosmer Puck on a toadstool circa 1856. Bequest of Judge Josephson 1892.

Image: Charles Birch Retaliation 1878 (installation view), bronze, 253.0 cm height. Purchased 1879.

Image: William Henry Margetson The Sea Hath Its Pearls 1897. Purchased 1897.

Image: Briton Rivière Requiescat 1888, oil on canvas, purchased 1897-8.

Image: John Dickson Batten Snowdrop and the seven little men 1897, purchased 1897.

Image: Sir Edward John Poynter The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon 1890, purchased 1892.

Image: Nasreddine Dinet The snake charmer 1889, purchased 1890.

Image: Eugene von Guérard Sydney Heads 1865. Bequest of Major H W Hall 1974.

Image: Julian Ashton The prospector 1889, purchased 1889.

Image: WC Piguenit The flood in the Darling 1890 1895, purchased 1895.

Image: Tom Roberts The Golden Fleece 1894, purchased 1894.

Tom Roberts conceived the idea of a bushranger picture while he was staying at Inverell in northern NSW. He painted ‘Bailed up’ largely en plein air. It tells as much of the qualities of the local landscape as of its staged drama. Roberts superbly captures the summer heat conditions, which render to stillness the dramatic circumstances of a Cobb & Co hold up. The scene was painted from a purpose-built platform in a stringy bark tree, giving the work its high vantage point. Roberts modelled the figures on Inverell townspeople, including stagecoach driver ‘Silent Bob Bates’ who had been held up by local bushranger ‘Captain Thunderbolt’ three decades earlier.

Image: Tom Roberts Bailed up 1895, 1927, oil on canvas, purchased 1933

Inspired by his experiences as a youth in the bush near Warren, NSW, George W Lambert began this ambitious work at the age of 26, while living with his mother at Hornsby. He worked in a small shed in the garden, and had to position the painting diagonally across it, even then unable to stretch the canvas to its full extent.

The painting was enthusiastically received as a heroic portrayal of bush life, displaying Lambert’s innate skill at draughtsmanship. It was awarded the Wynne Prize for landscape painting for 1899, and the following year Lambert left for London with the first New South Wales Society of Artists Travelling Scholarship.

Image: George W Lambert Across the black soil plains 1899, purchased 1899.

Image: George W Lambert Holiday in Essex 1910, oil on canvas. Purchased with assistance from the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales and the Marshall Bequest Fund 1981.

Awarded the Wynne Prize in 1919 and painted the same year as Roland Wakelin’s and Roy de Maistre’s experiments in colour harmony, ‘Spring frost’ is one of Elioth Gruner’s most critically acclaimed achievements. With its impeccable sense of light and tone, and its vigorous foreground brushwork, ‘Spring frost’ is a tour de force, and perhaps the most loved Australian landscape painting in the Gallery.

Elioth Gruner painted ‘Spring frost’ according to 19th-century plein-air conventions, but the work also demonstrates a contemporary succinctness of form. To complete the painting – one of his largest compositions – en plein air, Gruner built a structure to protect the canvas from the weather, and wrapped his legs with chaff bags to avoid frostbite. Although painted largely outdoors at Emu Plains, its large size and somewhat theatrical quality make it likely that Gruner completed parts of it later, in his city studio.

Image: Elioth Gruner Spring frost 1919. Gift of F G White 1939.

Image: Rusty Peters Waterbrain 2002 (detail), purchased 2002 © Rusty Peters. Warmun Arts Centre.

Image: Pedro Wonaeamirri Tutini (Pukumani grave posts) 1999, Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999 © Pedro Wonaeamirri and Jilamara Arts and Crafts.

Image: Munduwalawala 'Nyamiyukanji, the river country' 1997, purchased 2002 © Estate Ginger Riley Munduwalawala, Courtesy of Alcaston.

The title comes from newspaper reports of red algae blooms appearing in Sydney Harbour because of too much nitrogen in the water. Watson associated the deadly red blooms with whaling and the sites of Aboriginal massacres where the waters turned red with blood. The work was created for the 1997 Biennale in Venice, another water city where the ‘sound of the water is everywhere, especially at high tide, you can hear the waves against the buildings, licking history away’. Her work is about ‘memories washing over me’, whether the tidal flow of stories from her grandmother’s country in Queensland or the history of her Sydney Harbour home – the recurring wash of private and public memory.

Peter Emmett, ‘Sydney: metropolis, suburb, harbour’, 2000

Image: Judy Watson red tides 1997, Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999 © Judy Watson. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: John Mawurndjul Buluwana 2002, purchased 2003 © John Mawurndjul. Licensed by Viscopy, Australia.

Image: John Mawurndjul Mardayin ceremony 2000, Don Mitchell Bequest Fund 2000 © John Mawurndjul. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: Dr David Malangi 'Gunmirringu funeral scene' 1983. Purchased 1984 © Dr David Malangi/Bula'bula Arts. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: Dr David Malangi River mouth map 1983, purchased 1984 © Dr David Malangi/Bula'bula Arts. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: Grace Cossington Smith The curve of the bridge 1928-1929, purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales and James Fairfax AO 1991 © Estate of Grace Cossington Smith.

Image: Charles Meere 'Australian beach pattern' 1940. Purchased 1965 © Charles Meere Estate. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: Sidney Nolan The camp 1946. Purchased 1978 © The Trustees of the Sidney Nolan Trust/Bridgeman Art Library.

Five bells was my first commission to paint in situ to cover a wall … I didn’t hesitate. I brushed a line around the core theme, the seed-burst, the life-burst, the sea-harbour, the source of life. Inside and around this core, I painted images drawn from metaphors and similes in [Kenneth] Slessor’s poem of our harbour city, and from my own emotional and physical involvement with the harbour, and with my young family in Watsons Bay …

I wanted to show the Harbour as a movement, a sea suck, and the sound of the water as though I am part of the sea … The painting says directly what I wanted to say: ‘I am in the sea-harbour, and the sea-harbour is in me’.

John Olsen, 1999

Image: John Olsen Five bells 1963. Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 1999 © John Olsen. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Image: Jeffrey Smart Matisse at Ashford 2004 Gift of the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales with assistance from the Collection Circle 2007 © Estate of Jeffrey Smart.

Image: A pair of tomb guardian figures late 6th century-early 7th century. Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation Purchase 1990.

Chinese scholar’s set with inkstone, brush rest, ceramic water dropper and seal

Image: Japanese art sword and court mount 1751. On loan courtesy Colin McDonald.

Image: Nô theatre costume circa 1800. Purchased with funds provided by the VisAsia Dinner Fund to commemorate the 'Goddess: Divine Energy' exhibition 2006.

Image: Alberto Giacometti Woman of Venice VII 1956. Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation Purchase 1994 © Alberto Giacometti/ADAGP. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney.

Anselm Kiefer 'Von den Verlorenen gerührt, die der Glaube nicht trug, erwachen die Trommeln im Fluss' 2004. Purchased with funds provided by Geoff and Vicki Ainsworth and Catriona and Simon Mordant 2006 © Anselm Kiefer.

Image: Giulio Paolini L'altra figura 1984. Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1987 © Giulio Paolini.

Image: Callum Morton 'Motormouth' 2002, © Callum Morton, courtesy of the artist and RoslynOxley9 Gallery.

Image: Tony Cragg Spyrogyra 1992, Mervyn Horton Bequest Fund 1997 © Anthony Cragg.

Image: Ricky Swallow Killing Time 2003-2004. Rudy Komon Memorial Fund and the Contemporary Collection Benefactors 2004 © Ricky Swallow. Courtesy Darren Knight Gallery, Sydney.

Image: Simryn Gill Forest 1996-1998. Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales Contempo Group 2003 © Simryn Gill.

Image: Sol LeWitt Wall drawing #1091: arcs, circles and bands (room) 2003 2003. Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Estate of Sol LeWitt. ARS/Licensed by Viscopy.

Image: Christo Two Wrapped Trees 1969. Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Christo.

Image: Jeff Koons White terrier 1991. Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Jeff Koons.

Image: Nam June Paik 'TV cello' 1976. Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2011. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Nam June Paik Estate.

Image: Bernd Becher, Hilla Becher Framework houses 1959-1971, printed 2000. John Kaldor Family Collection at the Art Gallery of New South Wales © Bernd and Hilla Becher. Courtesy Sonnabend Gallery.

Image: Richard Long Southern gravity 2011. Gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection 2013. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program © Richard Long.

  • 01
    Stephen Croft
    1 minute
  • 02
    Puck on a toadstool
    1 minute
  • 03
    Retaliation
    1 minute
  • 04
    The Sea Hath Its Pearls
    1 minute
  • 05
    Requiescat
    1 minute
  • 06
    Snowdrop and the seven little men
    1 minute
  • 07
    The visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon
    2 minutes
  • 08
    The snake charmer
    1 minute
  • 09
    Sydney Heads
    1 minute
  • 10
    The prospector
    1 minute
  • 11
    The flood in the Darling 1890
    1 minute
  • 12
    The Golden Fleece
    1 minute
  • 13
    Bailed up
    1 minute
  • 14
    Across the black soil plains
    1 minute
  • 15
    Holiday in Essex
    1 minute
  • 16
    Spring frost
    1 minute
  • 17
    Waterbrain
    2 minutes
  • 18
    Tutini (Pukumani grave posts)
    1 minute
  • 19
    Nyamiyukanji, the river country
    1 minute
  • 20
    red tides
    1 minute
  • 21
    Buluwana
    56 seconds
  • 22
    Mardayin ceremony
  • 23
    Gunmirringu funeral scene
    1 minute
  • 24
    River mouth map
    1 minute
  • 25
    The curve of the bridge
    1 minute
  • 26
    Australian beach pattern
    1 minute
  • 27
    The camp
    52 seconds
  • 28
    Five bells
    1 minute
  • 29
    Matisse at Ashford
    1 minute
  • 30
    A pair of tomb guardian figures
    1 minute
  • 31
    Chinese scholar's set
    3 minutes
  • 32
    Japanese art sword and court mount 1751
    1 minute
  • 33
    Nô theatre costume
    1 minute
  • 34
    Woman of Venice VII
    1 minute
  • 35
    Von den Verlorenen gerührt, die der Glaube nicht trug, erwachen die Trommeln im Fluss
    2 minutes
  • 36
    L'altra figura
    1 minute
  • 37
    Motormouth
    1 minute
  • 38
    Spyrogyra
    1 minute
  • 39
    Killing Time
    1 minute
  • 40
    Forest
    1 minute
  • 41
    Wall drawing #1091: arcs, circles and bands (room) 2003
    1 minute
  • 42
    Two Wrapped Trees
    1 minute
  • 43
    White terrier
    53 seconds
  • 44
    TV cello
    1 minute
  • 45
    Framework houses
    1 minute
  • 46
    Southern gravity
    1 minute