Art Term

Heidelberg School

The Heidelberg School was a late nineteenth century art movement named after the village of Heidelberg in Australia where a small group of artists would go to paint en plein air (painting outdoors and on the spot)

Charles Conder, ‘Springtime’ 1892
Charles Conder
Springtime 1892
Tate

Sometimes described as Australian impressionism, the Heidelberg School developed an informal, evocative and naturalistic style that evoked the colours and flora of the Australian landscape. One of the leading exponents of the Heidelberg School was Tom Roberts, an artist who had studied in Europe before returning to Australia in 1885, bringing with him the new innovations in impressionism. Other artists associated with the Heidelberg School include Arthur Streeton, Frederick McCubbin, Charles Conder and Arthur Loureiro. The group soon became synonymous with a national style of painting in Australia.