Faun and Nymph

Sydney Long

Faun and Nymph by Sydney Long


Sydney Long
Faun and Nymph
oil on canvas
60 x 75 cm

Steeped in Symbolist interests and styled in the Art Nouveau, the singular quality of Sidney Long’s art was early recognized when, in 1894, the Art Gallery of New South Wales purchased his masterly By Tranquil Waters the year it was painted. Two years later the Gallery added the pastoral Midday 1896, admired by critics for its ‘rich harmonies of colour’ and ‘poetic feeling’. 1 To these must be added two of his most celebrated mythological masterpieces, Spirit of the Plains 1897 (Queensland Art Gallery) and Pan 1898 (Art Gallery of New South Wales). Conjuring up scenes and sounds from a land beyond time and place, they are rich in the sensuous appeal of music echoed in flowing, tendrilious line.  Colours beguile, fact blends with fantasy, myth with mood, and dream with reality.  These paintings set the stage on which Long would perform so skillfully, with subtlety of variation, invention and recollection, for many years.  Faun And Nymph 1910 belongs to this distinguished group, continuing the theme of music making within an arcadian setting with echoes of Rupert Bunny’s internationally acclaimed Pastoral c.1893 (National Gallery of Australia, Canberra). 2  Faun and Nymph inherits those interests in music and water, beloved by the Symbolists, and that feeling of dreaminess, a timelessness evoked as an escape from reality and its materiality.

This is an extract from the catalogue essay by David Thomas, 2017.


© Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia

Stock Number

Enquire about this artwork


James R Lawsons Auctioneers 1976, Lot 111
Mr W.R Burge, Sydney
Deutscher Fine Art, Melbourne
Mr & Mrs E. Rogowski, Melbourne
Leonard Joel,23 February 1998 lot 47 as Fawn (sic) and Nymph
Private collection, Melbourne


Sydney Long, S.H. Ervin Museum and Art Gallery, Sydney, 9 October-25 November 1979, cat.27
30 Australian Paintings, Deutscher Fine Art, 15 September - 3 October 1980, cat. no. 28
19th & 20th Century Australian Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts 1998, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, 1-27 June 1998, cat. 13
Annual Collectors? Exhibition 2008, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne


Mendelssohn, Joanna, The life and work of Sydney Long, McGraw-Hill Book Company, NSW: Copperfield Publishing Co. Pty. Limited, 1979, cat. no. 201 pl.27 p.93
Financial Review, Sydney, 21 October 1976, illus

Further Information

signed lower left: SID LONG 1910