Sir Arthur Ernest Streeton (1867 – 1943) was an Australian landscape painter and leading member of the Heidelberg School also known as Australian Impressionism. In 1882, Streeton commenced art studies with G. F. Folingsby at the National Gallery School. On 2 June 1890, he sailed to Sydney, Summer Hill and stayed there with his sister. Streeton was influenced by French Impressionism and the works of J.M.W. Turner. During this time he began his association with fellow artists Frederick McCubbin and Tom Roberts – at Melbourne including at Box Hill and Heidelberg. In 1885 Streeton presented his first exhibition at the Victorian Academy of Art. He found employment as an apprentice lithographer under Charles Troedel.
In the summer drought of 1888, Streeton travelled by train to the attractive agricultural and grazing suburb of Heidelberg, 11 km north-east of Melbourne’s city centre. He intended to walk the remaining distance to the site where Louis Buvelot painted his 1866 work Summer afternoon near Templestowe, which Streeton considered “the first fine landscape painted in Victoria”. On the return journey to Heidelberg, wet canvas in hand, Streeton met Charles Davies, brother-in-law of friend and fellow plein air painter David Davies. Charles gave him “artistic possession” of an abandoned homestead atop the summit of Mount Eagle estate, offering spectacular views across the Yarra Valley to the Dandenongs. For Streeton, Eaglemont (as it became known) was the ideal working environment—a reasonably isolated rural location accessible by public transport. The house itself could be seen by visitors as they arrived at Heidelberg railway station.