J J Hilder was a noted watercolourist, greatly admired by his peers. Lionel Lindsay wrote a tribute following Hilder's premature death from consumption in 1916:
"Hilder’s is the romance of colour, and for him the eye is sole and final arbiter. His method was one of elimination. Like Cotman, [British watercolourist John Sell Cotman 1782-1842] he added nothing to nature, but he subtracted much ... within the limits of a few square inches of paper he is a master, commanding his vision with ease and delicacy, and, with a rare and individual mind, stating that vision in terms of originality and beauty".
Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2001
The dry lagoon
pencil, watercolour on ivory wove paper
66.2 x 99.1 cm sheet; 92.5 x 123.3 x 4.7 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., blue/grey watercolour, "J.J.HILDER/ 1911".
Not on display
Shown in 13 exhibitions
Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1911), Society Rooms, Queen Victoria Markets, Sydney, Nov 1911 -
J.J. Hilder memorial exhibition (1916), Society of Artists, Sydney, 14 Jul 1916 -
Jesse Jewhurst Hilder anniversary exhibition (1966-1967):
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 21 Apr 1966–15 May 1966
- City Hall, Toowoomba, Toowoomba 23 May 1966–29 May 1966
- Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle 09 Jun 1966–03 Jul 1966
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 14 Jul 1966–07 Aug 1966
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Launceston 18 Aug 1966–11 Sep 1966
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 22 Sep 1966–23 Oct 1966
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Nov 1966–04 Dec 1966
- Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra 15 Dec 1966–08 Jan 1967
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 19 Jan 1967–12 Feb 1967
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 23 Feb 1967–19 Mar 1967
The Australian Landscape (1972-73):
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 03 Mar 1972–03 Apr 1972
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 04 May 1972–04 Jun 1972
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 04 Jul 1972–04 Aug 1972
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 05 Sep 1972–01 Oct 1972
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 14 Nov 1972–17 Dec 1972
- Newcastle Region Art Gallery, Newcastle 17 Jan 1973–11 Feb 1973
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 01 Mar 1973–01 Apr 1973
The Australian Landscape 1802-1975:
Western European and Australian drawings XVI-XX century, from Australian museums, State Hermitage Museum, Russia, Dec 1978–Feb 1979
J.J. Hilder and Contemporaries:
Twentieth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 05 Apr 1989–25 Jun 1989
Two hundred years of Australian painting : Nature, people and art in the southern continent:
Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:
Our country: Federation landscapes 1900-1914, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 14 Sep 2001–18 Nov 2001
Parallel Visions: Twenty-two artists from the Australian collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 22 Feb 2002–May 2003
Australia, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 21 Sep 2013–08 Dec 2013
Referenced in 22 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 92 (colour illus.).
Art Gallery of South Australia, The Australian landscape, Adelaide, 1972. cat.no. 30; titled 'The Dry Lagoon'
Douglas Dundas., The Etruscan, 'The watercolours of J.J. Hilder', Sydney, Sep 1959, 19 (colour illus.).
Anne Gray, Sydney Long: the spirit of the land, 'The mysterious Mr Long', pg. 15-41, Canberra, 2012, 21 (colour illus.).
Anne Gray, Australia, 'Art nation: Australian landscape 1880-1920', pg. 146-183, London, 2013, 174 (colour illus.). cat.no. 114
Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Art of federation', pg. 174-185, Carlton, 2013, 184, 185 (colour illus.), 548, 562. plate no. 18.7
Brett Hilder and Lloyd Rees, The heritage of J. J. Hilder, Sydney, 1966. cat.no. 180
Captain Brett Hilder., Jesse Jewhurst Hilder: anniversary exhibition, 'Introduction', Brisbane, 1966. cat.no. 19; titled 'The Dry Lagoon'
Hendrik Kolenberg, Twentieth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1989. cat.no. 32
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 11, 34 (colour illus.), 116. cat.no. 21
Frances McCarthy, Ian North and Daniel Thomas, Australian landscape 1802-1975, 'The Australian Landscape', Adelaide, 1972. cat.no. 30
Ewen McDonald, AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 22, 23 (colour illus.).
Ian North., Special exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia: Seventh Adelaide Festival of Arts 1972, 'The Australian Landscape', Adelaide, 1972. cat.no. 29
Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 112 (colour illus.). cat.no. 61
Barry Pearce, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Introduction: Convergent Spirits', pg. 10-19, Sydney, 2002, 15, 77 (colour illus.), 144, 147.
Michael Preston, Arts Club, '"Early impressions have a 'helluvalot' to answer for"', pg. 23-25, London, Autumn 2001, 24 (illus.).
Ursula Prunster and Edmund Capon, J.J. Hilder and contemporaries, Sydney, 1981, (illus.). cat.no. 9
Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'Introduction', pg. 16-22, Adelaide, 2001, 20, 21 (colour illus.), 154.
William Splatt and Susan Bruce, 100 masterpieces of Australian landscape painting, Melbourne, 1986, 144, 145 (colour illus.). plate no. 69
Daniel Thomas, Creating Australia: 200 years of art 1788-1988, 'Twentieth Century Art: Nature', pg.132, Melbourne, 1988, 132, 134 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 74 (colour illus.).
Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 2002, 61 (colour illus.).