Impressions Down Under

London’s National Gallery’s Australia’s Impressionists exhibition last until 26 Mar 2017. The exhibition shows the global scope of impressionism in the late nineteenth century and its leading picture (below, left) is Arthur Streeton’s  Ariadne. Is there some hidden characteristic in these pictures that means they can only be landscapes of Australia?

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Above, right, is A Holiday at Mentone by Charles Conder, 1888.

Australia is the lowest, flattest, and oldest continental landmass on Earth, with a relatively stable geological history. It is situated in the middle of the tectonic plate, and therefore currently has no active volcanism.

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The terrain is mostly a low plateau with deserts, rangelands and a fertile plain in the southeast. Tasmania and the Australian Alps do not contain any permanent icefields or glaciers, although they may have existed in the past.

 

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Below is John Peter Russell’s Les Terrasses de Monte Cassino. Geological forces such as tectonic uplift of mountain ranges or clashes between tectonic plates occurred mainly in Australia’s early history, when it was still a part of Gondwanaland. Its highest peak is Mount Kosciuszko at 2,228 metres (7,310 ft), which is relatively low in comparison to the highest mountains on other continents. Erosion has heavily weathered Australia’s surface.  1043875.jpg