The Ballarat fine art gallery is an impressive institution, with well informed staff and a surprising collection. I knew that it is the largest regional gallery in the country, but I was still not prepared for the extent and quality of the works on display.

I’m going to write separate posts for the 19th century and 20th century works. The 19th century works on display were beautiful, particularly these below. Three themes of 19th century art are evident in these works: orientalism, classicism and a growing sense of realism.

19bal1 19th century, Ballarat fine art gallery
Nicholas Chevalier, ‘Buddha’s renunciation’, 1884

19bal2 19th century, Ballarat fine art gallery
Karl Theodor von Piloty, ‘Beneath the arena’, 1860-1880

I see orientalism evident in this amazing work, which makes the forest near Mount Dandenong look like the deepest tropical wilderness or a page from Where the wild things are. It’s a prehistoric wonder found at the end of the world filled with bright crimson birds.

19bal4 19th century, Ballarat fine art gallery
Edward Roper, ‘In fern tree gully, Mount Dandenong’, c 1867

19bal31 19th century, Ballarat fine art gallery
Hugh Ramsay, figure study, not dated

19th century, Ballarat fine art gallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You own the copyright of your comment. By submitting your comment you grant this site a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution.