Poorhouse International: Catalogue results

TITLE: John Russell - Australia's Lost Impressionist
Director: Catherine Hunter

Genre: Art Documentary

Format: HD



Company: Catherine Hunter Films

Runtime: 60' minutes.

ID: 406.




John Russel was handsome, wealthy, debonair and, being Australian, quite exotic in 19th century France. Yet despite his own accomplishments and his pivotal role in the development of modern art, his name and his art have been largely gone unrecognized outside rarefied art circles. Catherine Hunter's documentary explores his legacy on 20th century art through his paintings and friendships. John Russel (1858 - 1930) painted in France alongside Claude Monet, opened the eyes of Matisse for colour and was a close friend of Vincent van Gogh. Russel exhibited at the 1905 Salon d'Automne in Paris and his work entered the Louvre collection in 1949. Russel's portrait of Van Gogh was purchased by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 1938 and is documented as Van Gogh's favourite.

Catherine Hunter embarked on a mission to find out why this fine sea and landscapist and painter of intimate family studies is so little known although his work shows him to be a stunning colourist of equal power with the better known Fauvists. She juxtaposes work and the environment Russel lived in, talks to experts and most importantly makes us familiar with the best of Russel's output. Contemporary artists Euan Macleod and Luke Seiberras travelled with the filmmaker to Belle- Ile and their impressions and work inspired by Belle-Ile feature in the film.