Nude Bathing Scenes as an Australian Pastoral Mode: Strategies and Tactics in Australian Art around the Turn of the Twentieth Century

Abstract

My main concern in this essay is with a group of pictures of nude bathers painted by Tom Roberts, Charles Conder, Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin and Sydney Long in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries showing European Australians at ease in idyllic Australian landscapes. By examining these in relation to the history of practices both artistic and more generally cultural, this essay will demonstrate the fruitfulness of the historical tradition of pastoral as a multivalent artistic mode in Australia, exploited by artists as they sought a legitimate professional role at a time when a national identity was being constructed and consolidated.

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Published 30 June 2015 in Afterlives of Pastoral. Subjects: Art, Pastoral literature.

Cite as: Heckenberg, Kerry. ‘Nude Bathing Scenes as an Australian Pastoral Mode: Strategies and Tactics in Australian Art around the Turn of the Twentieth Century.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 30, no. , 2015. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.cf8c364ac7.