Skip to content

John Russell
Australia’s French impressionist

jpg John Russell ‘Mrs Russell among the flowers in the garden of Goulphar, Belle-Île’ 1907 (detail)

jpg John Russell ‘Morestil Point’ c1900 (detail)

jpg John Russell ‘Peonies and head of a woman’ c1887 (detail)

jpg John Russell ‘Vincent van Gogh’ 1886 (detail)

jpg John Russell ‘In the afternoon’ 1891 (detail)

jpg John Russell ‘The Needles, winter sun, Belle-Île’ 1903 (detail)

  • Slide 1
  • Slide 2
  • Slide 3
  • Slide 4
  • Slide 5
  • Slide 6

Discover the Sydney artist at the heart of impressionism

Part of the French avant-garde of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, John Russell was a close friend of Vincent van Gogh and Auguste Rodin, taught impressionist colour theory to Henri Matisse and dined with Claude Monet. Yet history has largely forgotten Russell, who was a key member of this ground-breaking group of artists during one of the most exhilarating periods in art history.

Bringing together 120 paintings, drawings and watercolours – including a number of works by his contemporaries – this major retrospective is the first survey of Russell’s work in 40 years. It offers fresh perspectives on French impressionism, reintroducing Russell’s extraordinary painting to today’s audiences.

The exhibition presents the breadth of Russell’s art from his studies in London and Paris, through impressionism and experimentation with pure colour, to his later fauve-like luminous watercolours. It features significant works that were only rediscovered recently and are exhibited publicly for the first time.

Many of the works – which include loans from the Van Gogh Museum, Musée d’Orsay, Musée Rodin, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museums and public and private collections in Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom – have not been shown for decades and some never before.

Discover the stories behind the art. Discover more about the life, times and art of John Russell. Enter.
Macquarie University, Crown Resorts Foundation, Packer Family Foundation, Art Gallery of NSW President's Council

Note: This display includes works that are protected under the Protection of Cultural Objects on Loan Act 2013. More information

Image details: John Russell Mrs Russell among the flowers in the garden of Goulphar, Belle-Île 1907, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, held by the Musée de Morlaix, bequest of Mme Jouve 1948; Morestil Point c1900, private collection; Peonies and head of a woman c1887, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, The Joseph Brown Collection, presented through the NGV Foundation by Dr Joseph Brown AO OBE, Honorary Life Benefactor, 2004; Vincent van Gogh 1886, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (State of the Netherlands), photo: Maurice Tromp; In the afternoon 1891, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 2016; The Needles, winter sun, Belle-Île 1903, The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art, Perth

21 Jul – 11 Nov 2018

Buy tickets now from Qtix

Tickets can be used once, anytime the exhibition is open. You don’t specify a date or time when booking.

$20 adult
$18 concession
$16 member
$48 family (2 adults + up to 3 children)
$8 child (5-17 years)
Free for children under 5

$2 transaction fee applies for online purchases

Multi-entry ticket
$32 adult
$29 concession
$26 member
Only available at the Gallery

Also available
Dining packages

Find out more

Temporary exhibitions gallery