Little pictures are often overlooked at auction as the larger and more dominant works can overwhelm the walls. Few realise that some of the most revered works in Australian art are no larger than 9 inches by 5 inches. These works formed part of the Australian impressionist exhibition held at the Buxton showrooms in Melbourne in 1889. The highest price at auction for one of these little paintings is around $490,000 set in 2009. That work was painted by Charles Conder and is considered to be one of the masterworks of Australian art. Little is precious, even in art.
While we don’t have any works from the 9 by 5 exhibition included in this catalogue we do have some interesting pieces painted from 1870 to 2010 starting with Oswald Brierley’s painting of HMS Galatea off Fort Macquarie and through to Martin Heine’s work of Flinders Lane in Melbourne.
Max Meldrum, Brett Whiteley and Albert Tucker among others are included. All are well recorded and delightful in their own individual way.