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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Streetons’ rich serenade

Arthur Streeton was one of Australia’s greatest painters, while Esther Leonora ‘Nora’ Clench was a virtuoso Canadian violinist. This is their love story.

Nora Clench, a violin prodigy, had achieved renown in Europe when she and Arthur Streeton met in London. Arthur, revered in Australia for his plein air landscape paintings, was virtually unknown in Europe. The reclusive artist and the sociable musician found common ground in a shared love of music and painting, and went on to get married in London in 1908. This photograph shows the couple in their St John’s Wood home with their beloved dog Pat. After marrying, Nora retired from public performances, effectively ending her career. Partly as a result of commissions from Nora’s extensive social circle, Arthur’s career then took off. In 1923 the Streetons relocated to Toorak, Melbourne and a cottage in Olinda, in the Dandenong Ranges. After Nora’s death in 1938 Streeton devoted his time to the Olinda garden and listening to music.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.