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Australian art

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(circa 1916-circa 1917)


Sydney Long

Australia, England

20 Aug 1871 - 23 Jan 1955


Sydney Long is the best-known proponent of Symbolist-inspired painting in Australia. Symbolism was an influential late 19th-century movement characterised by works expressing ideas, mood and dream states over material realities, and its artists often employed Art Nouveau’s sensuous arabesque forms as a means of expressing these metaphysical domains. 'Fantasy' uses the figure of Pan, the Greek mythological figure of a man with the hindquarters of a goat, alongside a group of dancing women in a stylised landscape with curving trees.


Other Title

Summer dance

Place where the work was made

London England


(circa 1916-circa 1917)

Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


132.5 x 107.0 cm stretcher; 145.3 x 119.7 x 8.3 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, black oil "SYDNEY LONG.". Not dated.


Purchased under the terms of the Florence Turner Blake Bequest 1971

Accession number


Artist information

Sydney Long

Artist profile

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 12 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art from Australia: 2016 calender, Sydney, 2015, n.pag. (colour illus.). month of April

Anna Clabburn., Looking for faeries: the Victorian tradition, 'The legacy of English fairy painting', Bendigo, 2010. Not paginated; List of works at the back.

Deborah Edwards, Stampede of the Lower Gods: Classical Mythology in Australian Art, 'The Antipodean Arcady/ When Pan purloined Apollo's lyre', pg. 8-31, Sydney, Sep 1989, 14 (illus.), 64.

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 10, 27 (illus.). 23

Anne Gray, Sydney Long: the spirit of the land, 'The spirit of the land', pg. 45-70, Canberra, 2012, 45, 49, 50, 59, 60, 64, 68, 136 (colour illus.), 137. 48

Denise Mimmocchi, Australian Symbolism: the art of dreams, 'Sydney Long: Arcadian myth and the decorative landscape', pg. 110-122, Sydney, 2012, 116, 121 (colour illus.), 146, 148 (colour illus.). image on pg.148 is a detail.

Denise Mimmocchi, Look, 'Australian symbolism: An exhibition exploring the antipodean art of dreams', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Apr 2012, 26 (colour illus.).

Denise Mimmocchi, Australian Collection Focus: Sydney Long - Pan, 'Sydney Long: Pan', pg. 1-12, Sydney, 2009, 8 (colour illus.).

William Splatt and Barbara Burton, 100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 124, 125 (colour illus.). plate no. 59

Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'What's on elsewhere', pg. 44-45, Sydney, Jun 2012, 44 (colour illus.).

Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, 'Australian collection', pg. 52-62, Sydney, Jul 1972, 56 (colour illus.).

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 72 (colour illus.).