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“Hot Wind” by Charles Conder

National Gallery of Australia - Joy of Museums - "Hot Wind" by Charles Conder

“Hot Wind” by Charles Conder

“Hot Wind” by Charles Conder is a nineteenth-century symbolist painting depicting a femme fatale blowing smoke from burning brazier towards the distant town. In the late 19th century symbolism was used in depictions of the Australian Colonial landscape. This example was painted by Charles Conder during the Victorian drought in 1889. This allegorical painting evokes the intense, bright light and searing heat of a harsh Australian drought.

This painting depicts a common theme in the work of the artist associated with the Symbolist movement of the 1880s and 1890s. Symbolist art drew inspiration from dreams, fantasies, poems and ideas, rather than reality. “The Spirit of the Drought” by Arthur Streeton is similar in its symbolism.

Charles Edward Conder was a painter, lithographer and designer. He emigrated to Australia and was a key figure in the Heidelberg School, a distinctively Australian tradition in Western art.

Among the many masterpieces in the National Gallery of Australia, the following are highlights:

Hot Wind

  • Title:               Hot Wind
  • Artist:             Charles Conder
  • Year:               1889
  • Medium:         oil on cardboard
  • Dimensions:   Height: 294 mm (11.57 in). Width: 750 mm (29.53 in)
  • Museum:        National Gallery of Australia

Charles Edward Conder

  • Artist:          Charles Edward Conder
  • Born:           1868 – Tottenham, Middlesex
  • Died:           1909 (aged 40)
  • Nationality: Australian
  • Major Paintings:


    ” Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.”
    – Australian Proverb


    Photo Credits:  GM