Streeton's Greaves's Farm, presumably bought by Louis Abrahams from the 1890 exhibition and sale at the rooms of the Melbourne auctioneers Gemmell, Tuckett & Co., remained unpublished and unseen in Australia from 1890 until its inclusion in the National Gallery of Victoria's major survey of Australian Impressionism in 2007. According to Terence Lane (private communication), the picture is thought to depict 'one of the tenant farms down on the Yarra, on a loop of the river below the artists' Mount Eagle headquarters. The tenant was apparently F W Greaves'. It shows Streeton at work in the pivotal year of 1889, painting, with the square brush technique he had recently learnt from Roberts, the momentary effects of dusk in the pink-tinged sky and its gloaming that briefly described the pastoral scene before him.
It is a work full of the concerns of the Heidelberg artists as expressed in their announcement 'To The Public' on the title page of the '9x5 Exhibition of Impressions' catalogue ('An Effect is only momentary: so an impressionist tries to find his place. Two half-hours are never alike, and he who tries to paint a sunset on two successive evenings, must be more or less painting from memory. So, in these works, it has been the object of the artists to render faithfully, and thus obtain first records of effects widely differing, and often of very fleeting character.') The artistic manifesto of these young artists, and of Streeton the romantic in particular, sees them taking inspiration from the work of the English romantic poets — Streeton ('when he wasn't painting he was quoting Keats or Shelley', J.R. Ashton) especially, as is underlined in the titles of several seminal canvases from 1890 on, from Wordsworth's Still glides the stream to Shelley's The Purple Noon's Transparent Might. Ironically, it was out of this quintessentially English romantic sensibility and from the few acres on Eaglemont whose picturesque nature had been improved by planting English trees and orchards, that this group of young artists emerged as the 'Australian Impressionists', 'justly celebrated as the first truly national School of Art' (G. Vaughan, 'Director's Foreword' in the exhibition catalogue Australian Impressionism, National Gallery of Victoria, 2007).