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Title

Fire's on

1891


Artist

Arthur Streeton

Australia, England, Australia

08 Apr 1867 - 01 Sep 1943


About

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.


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Details


Other Title

"Fire's on" Lapstone tunnel


Place where the work was made

Lapstone New South Wales Australia


Date

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


Location

Not on display


Accession number

832


Artist information

Arthur Streeton

Artist profile

Works in the collection

50


Shown in 19 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 133 publications

Bibliography


Elvira Adelstein, Look, 'Australian Icons: Fire's on', pg. 26, Melbourne, Aug 2000, 26 (colour illus.).

Juilan Ashton, The art of Arthur Streeton, 'Introduction', pg. 1-3, Sydney, 1919, 3, (colour illus.), 14. plate no. X

Julian Ashton, Now came still evening on, 'Picture makers I have met', pg. 94-107, Sydney, 1941, 102.

Julian Ashton., Daily telegraph, ‘National Art Gallery: The Australian Court’, Sydney, 27 Sep 1905, unknown.

Leigh Astbury, City bushmen: the Heidelberg school and the rural mythology, 'Strong masculine labour', pg. 100-129, Melbourne, 1985, 121.

Leigh Astbury, Australia 1888: a journal for the study of Australian history centred on the year 1888, 'Frederick McCubbin: the spirit of the pioneers', pg. 26-58, Melbourne, 1982, 35.

Herbert Badham, A study of Australian art, 'The first harvest', pg. 61-115, Sydney, 1949, 66.

Tim Bonyhadt, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Growing old gracelessly ?', pg. 10, Sydney, 25 Nov 1995, 10A.

Ian Burn, Australian art and architecture: essays presented to Bernard Smith, 'Beating about the bush; the landscapes of the Heidelberg school', pg. 83-98, Melbourne, 1980, 89, 91, 94, 103.

Betty Churcher, Australian notebooks, 'Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg. 45-90, Carlton, 2014, 58, 59 (colour illus.), 253, 255.

Jane Clark, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Streeton under the microscope', Sydney, 11 Jun 1994. This reference is a review for Mary Eagle "The oil paintings of Arthur Streeton in The National Gallery of Australia'.

Jane Clark, Golden summers: Heidelberg and beyond, 'Naturalism and nationalism', pg. 128-129, Melbourne, 1985, 138, 139 (colour illus.), 140.

St Stanislaus College, Western Advocate, 'An insight into Streeton art era', pg. 8, Bathurst, 04 Dec 1996, 8.

D.H.Souter, Art and architecture: the journal of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales, 'Arthur Streeton, artist and his Australian work', pg. 225-229, Sydney, 1905, 225, 227 (illus.).

Rob Ditessa', Artist's palette, 'Icons on show', pg. 54-59, Sydney, 2000, 57 (colour illus.).

Ann Galbally, The Cambridge companion to Australian Art, 'National life and landscape: the Heidleberg school as mythmakers 1880-1905', pg. 71-83, Port Melbourne, 2011, 74, 80, 351. fig.no. 6.9 (colour illus.), between pg. 92 and 93.

Anne Galbally, Arthur Streeton, 'Sydney 1890-1897', pg. 20-31, Melbourne, 1969, 26, 28, 41. plate no. 17

James Gleeson, Impressionist painters 1881-1930, 'Arthur Streeton (1867-1943)', pg. 103-104, St Kilda, 1971, 48 (colour illus.), 103, 104.

James Gleeson, Masterpieces of Australian painting, 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 74-76, Melbourne, 1969, 74, 75 (colour illus.). plate no. 22

Anne Gray, Australia, 'Art nation: Australian landscape 1880-1920', pg. 146-183, London, 2013, 153, 168, 169 (colour illus.). cat.no. 109

Anne Gray, Radical revisionism: an anthology of writings on Australian art, 'Arthur Streeton: shadows and symbols', pg. 175-181, Brisbane, 2005, 175.

Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'A national art', pg. 128-137, Carlton, 2013, 128 (colour illus. detail), 134 (colour illus.), 136, 548, 568. plate no. 14.4

David Hansen, Australian Impressionism, 'National Naturalism', pg. 281-287, Melbourne, 2007, 261, 283, 284, 286, 287, 291 (colour illus.). cat.no. 15.5

Deborah Hart, Turner to Monet: the triumph of landscape painting, 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 174, Canberra, 2008, 174, 175 (colour illus.). cat.no. 63.

Ursula Hoff, Meanjin, 'Reflections on the heidelburg School 1885 - 1900', pg. 125-133, Melbourne, Winter 1951, 131.

Robert Hughes, The art of Australia, 'The Heidelberg school', pg. 53-73, Melbourne, 1970, 12, 54, 61, 63, 64 (illus.), 65, 80. plate no. 21

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 114 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian images from the past: whether rarely seen or familiar, these works move and delight us', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Apr 2005, 26.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 10.

Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938, (colour illus.). cat.no. 201

Lionel Lindsay., Art in Australia [vol. 1, no. 2], 'Arthur Streeton's place in Australian Art', Sydney, 1917. not paginated

Lionel Lindsay, Streeton memorial exhibition souvenir catalogue, Sydney, 1945, (illus.). cat.no. 33

Lionel Lindsay, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 42], 'Sreeton's loan exhibition', pg. 8-9, Sydney, Feb 1932, 8.

Lionel Lindsay, Australia paintings by Arthur Streeton and Arthur Boyd: the XXIX Biennale Venice 1958, 'Sir Arthur Streeton (1867-1943), Australia, 1958. cat.no. 2

Lionel Lindsay, Art in Australia [series 3, no. 40], 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 9-11, Sydney, 15 Oct 1931, 11.

Elwyn Lynn, The Australian landscape and its artists, 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 68-71, Rushcutters Bay, 1977, 71 (colour illus.).

John MacDonald, Good Weekend, 'Vision of Australia', pg. 36-40, Sydney, 19 Nov 2008, 40 (colour illus.).

Patrick McCaughney, Australian painters of the heidelberg school, 'Introduction', pg. 6-14, Melbourne, 1979, 7, 9.

Louis McCubbin., Arthur Streeton memorial exhibition, 'Sir Arthur Streeton' by R.H. Croll, 'An appreciation', Adelaide, 1944. cat.no. 1

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Impressions from the edge', pg. 16, Sydney, 19 May 2007, 16.

John McDonald, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'In a new light', pg. 13, Sydney, 19 Oct 1996, 13.

Humphrey McQueen, Art Monthly Australia, 'Positions vacant', pg. 21-23, Canberra, Sep 2000, 21. review of 'Australian icons' exhibition

Ronald Millar, Michael Shannon: Australian romantic realist, 'Michael Shannon', pg. 42-66, Ballarat, 2011, 54.

Hal Missingham, A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Sydney, 1953. cat.no. 66

William Moore, The story of Australian art from the earliest known art of the continent to the art of today (Vol. 1), 'Australian school of landscape painters', pg. 84-121, Sydney, 1934, 96.

John Olsen, Art and Australia [series 3, vol. 1, no. 3], 'Sir Arthur Streeton', pg. 161, Sydney, Nov 1963, 161.

Barry Pearce, Southern reflections: 10 contemporary Australian artists, 'An Introduction to Australian Art', pg. 34-42, Sydney, 1998, 36 (colour illus.). fig.no. 4

Barry Pearce, Creating Australia: 200 years of art 1788-1988, 'At the Dragon's Mouth', pg.106-107, Melbourne, 1988, 8, 106, 107 (colour illus.), 234, 247.

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 17, 18, 19 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce and Deborah Edwards, Look, 'Forthcoming Australian features', pg. 24, Melbourne, Apr 2001, 24 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Art and Australia (Vol. 23, No. 4), 'Fire's On: some thoughts on a national icon', pg. 527-530, Sydney, Winter 1986, 528, 529.

Barry Pearce, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 10-16, Sydney, 2000, 13, 37, 47 (colour illus., detail), 48, 49 (colour illus.).

Christopher Riopelle, Australia's impressionists, 'Australia's impressionists in a world context', pg. 11-18, London, 2016, 16, 23, 24 (colour illus., detail), 29, 87 (colour illus.), 115, 125, 127. cat.no. 23; fig.no. 9

Michael Rosenthal, Art Monthly Australia (no.200), 'Impressions of Australia', pg. 21-27, Canberra, Jun 2007, 25, 26 (colour illus.). Review of 'Australian Impressionism' exhibition held at the National Gallery of Victoria [Ian Potter Centre]

Anne Ryan, Look, 'Fire's on! Streeton and a boom of thunder', pg. 14-15, Sydney, Sep 2014, 14 (colour illus.), 26.

Andrew Sayers, New Worlds From Old, 'The Shaping of Australian Landscape Painting', pg. 53-70, Parkes, 1997, 66 (illus.). fig.no. 38

Andrew Sayers, Australian art, 'What should Australian artists paint? 1885-1900', pg. 79-96, Oxford, 2001, 86 (colour illus.). plate no. 47

Wendy Sheather, Sunday telegraph, 'Enjoy a brush with Streeton', pg. 138, Sydney, 13 Oct 1996, (illus.), 138. Full page illustration and review/promotion of the retrospective exhibition, "Arthur Streeton" at the AGNSW, 11 October-24 November 1996.

Collin Simpson, The Bulletin with Newsweek, 'Green before his time: artist-as-conservationist; the work of Arthur Streeton, lyrical poet with a brush, fittingly opens the new wing of the Art Gallery of South Australia', pg. 76-77, Sydney, 26 Mar 1996, 77.

Sebastian Smee, Fred Williams: infinite horizons, 'Fred Williams and company', pg. 206-215, Canberra, 2011, 210 (colour illus.).

Bernard Smith, 100 years of Australian painting, 'Foreword', pg. 2-4, Sydney, 1948, 2, 5. cat.no. 4

Bernard Smith, Australian painting 1788-1990, 'Genesis 1885-1914', pg. 71-124, South Melbourne, 1991, 91, 92, 93 (illus.), 355. plate no. 62

Susannah Smith, Look, 'Australian guests: Australia at the Royal Academy of Arts, London', pg. 16-18, Sydney, Dec 2013-Jan 2014, 18.

Hugh Speirs, Landscape art and the Blue Mountains, 'Changes since the advent of the railway', pg. 57-78, Australia, 1981, 60, 61 (illus.). plate no. 34

Arthur Streeton, The Arthur Streeton catalogue, Melbourne, 1935, 116. cat.no. 14. Note that the title of this work in this catalogue is '"Fire's" on Glenbrook'.

Michael Tasker, Look, 'Google art project', pg. 12, Sydney, May 2012, 12 (colour illus.). one of two reproductions is a detail

Clare Temple, Foundation Newsletter #24, 'Curators' and coordinators' reports', pg. 8-11, Sydney, Jul 2014, 10.

Martin Terry, Art and Australia (Vol. 21, No. 4), 'Conrad Martens and the zig zag', pg. 503, Sydney, Winter 1984, 503.

martin Terry, Masterpieces of Australian Painting, 'From settlement to the 1890s: an introduction to Australian art', pg. 7-181, Sydney, 1984, 74, 75 (colour illus.).

David Thomas, Deutscher and Hackett fine art auction: Sydney 28 August 2013, 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 74-75, Melbourne, Aug 2013, 74.

Christopher Wray, Arthur Streeton: painter of light, 'Intermesso', pg. 59-71, Milton, 1993, 68, 76.

Trustees of the Art Gallery of New South Wales: Minutes 1.9.1891-4.5.1898, Sydney, 1891-1898. 30 August 1893, 26 September 1893, 17 October 1893, 6 August 1896

AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 12, 13 (colour illus.).

Illustrated Australian news, Melbourne, 01 Jul 1892, 7.

Table talk, Melbourne, 03 Jun 1892, 8.

Age, Melbourne, 27 May 1892, 6.

Fire and ice, Canberra, 2008, (colour illus., detail), (colour illus.). not paginated;

Art Gallery of New South Wales: highlights from the collection, Sydney, 2008, 60 (colour illus.), 61 (colour illus., detail).

Art of Australia. Vol 1: Exploration to Federation, ‘Individual and national feeling’, pg. 545-610, Sydney, 2008, 570, 571 (colour illus.), 579.

19th-century art, 'National landscape', pg. 394-396, New Jersey, 2005, 396 (colour illus.).

Artwise: visual arts 7-10, Milton, 2004, 136, 137 (colour illus.).

Art of the land, Brookvale, 2002, 16 (colour illus.), 17. Children's activities book

Ecological pioneers: a social history of Australian ecological thought and action, 'Seeing the land in a new light: people and landscapes in Australian art', pg. 34-71, Cambridge, 2001, 50-51, 52 (illus.), 53.

Australian artist, 'Keeping a lost art alive', pg. 4-5, Chatswood, Oct 2000, 5 (colour illus.). Article about frame conservation for 'Australian Icons' exhibition.

Australian artist, 'Australian Icons at the Art Gallery of New South Wales', pg, 4-5, Chatswood, Aug 2000, 4 (colour illus.).

Aspects of Australian art, Sydney, 2000, (illus.). card no. 2: Tom Roberts 'The Golden Fleece' 1894

Art is ... making, creating and appreciating 2, Milton, 1999, 221 (colour illus.).

Art is ... making, creating and appreciating, 'Painting rocks and cliffs', pg. 102-103, Milton, 1998, 103 (colour illus.).

Art Wise - Visual Arts years 7-10, Queensland, 1997.

Wynne centenary 1897-1997: a selection of past winners from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales Bulletin, Sydney, Aug 1996-Oct 1996, 23 (colour illus.).

Arthur Streeton, 1867-1943, ''Still glides the stream, and shall forever glide' Melbourne 1867-90', pg. 11-66, South Yarra, 1995, 9, 67, 84, 85 (colour illus.). cat.no. 33

Arthur Streeton 1867-1943: Education guide, Parkes, 1995, (colour illus.).

The oil paintings of Arthur Streeton in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 1994, 72.

Sunlight and shadow: Australian impressionist painters 1880-1900, 'National icons', pg. 177-204, Rushcutters Bay, 1989, 201 (colour illus.), 202. plate no. 150

Arthur Streeton 1867-1943 a biographical sketch, Brisbane, 1987, 29 (colour illus.).

Images in opposition: Australian landscape painting 1801–1890, 'Contrasting lights', pg. 135-154, Melbourne, 1985, 142, opposite 146 (colour illus.), 150-151, 174. plate no. 26

Art and Australia, Sydney, Spring 1984.

Australian art masterpieces, South Yarra, 1984, (illus.). plate no. 52

Portrait of a Gallery, 'Australian art in the old courts', pg. 24-41, Sydney, 1984, 34, 35 (colour illus.).

Australian impressionist painters: a pictorial history of the Heidelberg school, 'New South Wales', pg.73-96, Windsor, 1981, 74, 75 (illus.). plate no. 41

Fifteen decades of Australian paintings, Sydney, 1981, (colour illus.). cat.no. 7

Art and Artists of Australia, Melbourne, 1981, (colour illus.).

Australia's national collections, North Ryde, 1980, 249, 258 (colour illus.).

A treasury of Australian painting, 'The golden age of impressionism', pg. 21-34, Australia, 1976, 33 (colour illus.). plate no. 23

100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 70, 71 (colour illus.). plate no. 32

Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 82 (colour illus.).

A catalogue of Australian oil paintings in the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1875-1952, Sydney, 1953, 200.

Smike to bulldog: letters from Sir Arthur Streeton to Tom Roberts, 'Letters from Streeton with annotations', pg. 3-137, Sydney, 1946, 17, 20, 21, 59.

The advertiser, Adelaide, 08 Nov 1944, 4.

Argus, Melbourne, 05 Sep 1944, 6.

Tom Roberts: father of Australian landscape painting, Melbourne, 1935, 173, 174, 195.

Herald, Melbourne, 12 Sep 1924, 6.

Catalogue exhibition and sale of paintings by Arthur Streeton, 'Arthur Streeton', pg. 4-6, Sydney, Nov 1923, 5.

Bulletin, Sydney, 01 Dec 1900, [red page].

Australian art review, Sydney, 01 Dec 1899, 25.

Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1899, Sydney, 1899. cat.no. 256, Oil Paintings-Australian

Daily telegraph, Sydney, 12 May 1898, 6.

Daily telegraph, Sydney, 05 May 1898, 6.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 25 May 1895, 6.

The year's art, London, 1895, 222.

Sydney mail and New South Wales advertiser, Sydney, 09 Sep 1893, 544.

Table talk, Melbourne, 08 Sep 1893, 10.

Illustrated Australian news, Melbourne, 08 Sep 1893, 10.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The Art Society', pg. 3, Sydney, 04 Sep 1893, 3.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 01 Sep 1893, 6.

The Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, 31 Aug 1893, 4.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art Society's exhibition', pg. 3, Sydney, 17 Aug 1893, 3.

Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1893, Sydney, 1893. cat.no. 430, Australian Court-Supplement, titled 'Fire's On!'

Sun (Melbourne), Melbourne, 03 Jun 1892, 10.

Argus, Melbourne, 26 May 1892, 6.

Bohemia, Melbourne, 21 Jan 1892, 11.

Paint on the tracks: Australian artists and the railway, Sydney, 1994.