March 2023

The Photography of Jon Rendell

Melbourne's National Gallery of Victoria, popularly known as the NGV, is Australia's oldest (founded 1861) and most visited art museum.

NGV International on St Kida Rd houses a number of permanent displays, arranged by region and chronology. It also has a large ground-floor space used for temporary exhibitions. The building is surrounded by a moat and fountains, while the main entrance features a famous water wall. 

The international collection includes works by Arbus, Bernini, Bordone, Canaletto, Cassatt, C茅zanne, Constable, Correggio, Dal铆, Degas, Delaunay, van Dyck, Emin, Gainsborough, Gentileschi, El Greco, Lange, Manet, Memling, Modigliani, Moore, Monet, Picasso, Pissarro, Pittoni, Poussin, Rembrandt, Renoir, Ribera, Riley, Rodin, Rothko, Rubens, Tiepolo, Tintoretto, Turner, Uccello, Veronese and others.

Water wall.


The water wall entrance that the kids just love.


Theft of The Weeping Woman from the National Gallery of Victoria . In August 1986 Picasso's 'Weeping Woman' was stolen from the NGV specifically to make a political statement about the funding of art purchases in Australia. The theft made international news. The thieves left a note listing their demands, which included an increase in the funding of the arts. There was an extensive police hunt, which failed to find the painting. Later the same month, it was retrieved from a railway station locker in Melbourne. The thieves were never discovered, though various theories have persisted over the years about who it might have been, and as to whether it was an inside job.


The Great Hall ceiling is the world's largest stained-glass ceiling, designed by
Melbourne artist Leonard French.


Last year NGV hosted largest ever show of 'queer art' in Australia.


The Banquet of Cleopatra (250 x 357cm) is a painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo completed in 1744. The subject of the painting is a supposed historical episode described by both 'Pliny's Natural History' and 'Plutarch's Lives', in which Cleopatra takes an expensive pearl and dissolves it in her wine, prior to imbibing the drink. The episode depicts Antony being seduced by the sensual opulence of the East, as exemplified by Cleopatra.


Peeing boy (Fountain), 2018 by Julian Opie.




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Jon Rendell was born into an auteur/photog family in Melbourne, Australia, in 1957 and grew up around cameras and film. He honed his craft under renowned photographer Athol Shmith at what is now Swinburne University (Prahran Campus, Melbourne). He was always captivated by shadows and finds himself hard-wired to focusing on the transitory, abstract shapes that come and go with the available light. For more of his photography in Scene4, check the Archives.

©2023 Jon Rendell
©2023 Publication Scene4 Magazine





March 2023

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