An inside view: paintings by Janet Venn-Brown

A commission made in Rome more than a decade ago by Caroline Simpson (1930-2003) has brought together expatriate painter Janet Venn-Brown and the Historic Houses Trust for a project exploring the interiors of some of our finest houses.

Not long after the opening of Clyde Bank - Caroline Simpson's gallery of colonial art and furniture located in The Rocks - Janet was invited to return to Sydney from Italy and paint a series of interior paintings of this outstanding collection. In mid 1999, the artist spent a fortnight working on a series of tempera paintings capturing both the objects displayed within each room and the interior architecture of one of Sydney's early historic buildings. The depiction of these treasures is so fine that the furniture, china and paintings can all be identified, and the interpretative power of Janet's work has been enhanced by its detailed recording of the gallery at a point in time. Janet recently donated five of the works she painted during her fortnight at Clyde Bank to the HHT, as she felt these paintings belong with the Caroline Simpson Collection. Having recently resettled in Sydney, Janet, assisted by HHT staff and artist Wendy Littlewood, has turned her eye to the interiors of Vaucluse and Elizabeth Bay houses and in a small series of paintings brings together a 400-year-old tradition of art, the philanthropy of the Simpson family and the HHT's ongoing engagement with our rich community of artists. These new works will be displayed alongside the Clyde Bank commissions in this latest exhibition in the Members Lounge.

A limited number of new and previous works are available for sale.

3 February 2011 - 24 March 2011

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