THE ART GALLERY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA IN 2014 PAID $4.45 MILLION AT A NEW YORK AUCTION
for a landscape Prairie a Eragny by French impressionist Camille Pissarro, with money raised from 285 individuals and businesses.
The masterwork purchase is part of campaign that reflects a a tradition going back to the 1850s and the start of South Australian Society of Arts had been established and still operates as the oldest Australian fine artsociety still in existence.
The Art Gallery of South Australia is renowned for its Australian (indigenous and colonial) images, British paintings, including pre-Raphaelite works by Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Morris & Co.; and Japanese images.
Important works of the Heidelberg school include Tom Roberts’ A break away!, Charles Conder’s A holiday at Mentone and Arthur Streeton’s Road to Templestowe. The mid 20th Century is represented by Russell Drysdale, Arthur Boyd, Margaret Preston, Bessie Davidson and Sidney Nolan.
European landscapes include those by Jacob Isaakszoon van Rusidael, Salomon van Ruysdael and Joseph Wright of Derby. Robert Peake, Anthony van Dyck, Peter Lely and Thomas Gainsborough are among the British portraitists.
Painting by Goya, Francesco Gaudi, Pompeo Batoni and Camille Corot are also featured, along with sculpture by Rodin, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth and Jacob Epstein.
Founded in 1881, the gallery building on North Terrace has been expanded several times since it opened in 1900. It has around 38,000 works. The collections span the period from ancient Rome to the present day, and include paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, glass, metalwork and jeweller and furniture.
The highlight of the gallery's Asian collection is its South East Asian ceramics, the finest museum collection of such material in the world.