Long, Sydney [Sid]
- Joanna Mendelssohn
(b Goulburn, NSW, Aug 20, 1871; d London, Jan 25, 1955).
Australian painter and printmaker. In the early 1890s, while studying art part-time at the Art Society of New South Wales at Sydney, he attracted the attention of Julian Rossi Ashton, then head teacher. In 1894 his first major painting, By Tranquil Waters (1894), a river-bathing scene in a self-conscious Impressionist style, was purchased by the National Art Gallery of New South Wales. In the next 15 years he painted increasingly decorative works, emphasizing the flatness of the picture-plane and adopting a narrow tonal range of moody blues and grey–greens. In his subject-matter he tried to create a specifically Australian myth. His most important painting, Spirit of the Plains (1897; Brisbane, Queensland A.G.), shows a female bush spirit leading her brolgas in a dance. His favourite painting, Pan (1898; Sydney, A.G. NSW), transposes European mythology to an Australian setting of rhythmically decorative gum trees. His distinctive use of decorative vegetation remained the principal characteristic of his style....