Sydney Long (1871-1955)
Sydney Long is Australia’s foremost Art Nouveau style painter and a major Symbolist. In works such as The Spirit of the plains 1897, Pan 1898 and Fantasy c 1914, as well as in his many versions of Flamingoes, he created magical images.
Long’s Art Nouveau paintings are like reveries, an escape from the everyday; they create a feeling of spiritual elevation, of another reality. And yet, seeking imagery which conveyed the ‘lonely and primitive feelings of this country’, he captured something of the soul and toneof the Australian bush.
Long was born in Goulburn in 1871 and moved to Sydney when he was aged sixteen. Art training in Sydney with Julian Ashton was followed by ten years working full time as an artist in Australia. From 1910 he was based in London for eleven years.
Long visited Australia during 1921-22, and returned again in 1925. This time he stayed until he returned to London in 1951, where he died in 1955.
When Long died he was a well-established Australian artist with over 20 oils in public collections. And he remains one of those artists whose key works are never off display.