Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Australian art

Photography

View More:


Title

Surf, Coogee, Sydney

circa 1880


Artist

Charles Bayliss

England, Australia

1850 - 1897


About

In 1876 the poet Henry Kendall wrote about ‘wave-worn Coogee’, celebrating the wildness of the place: ‘jags and points disrupted, gaps and fractures fringed with light.’ Kendall’s picture of the turbulent coast of Coogee is in sharp contrast to the sun-filled and cheery beachscapes which Tom Roberts and Charles Conder painted there. Bayliss may have been familiar with Kendall’s verse, although the poetic notion of the ‘ever-restless sea’ was well established in 19th-century verse and art. The AGNSW acquired their painting of this title by W Lister Lister in 1892. Poetic and romantic allusions aside, photographs of the sea – ‘instantaneous’ photographs which demonstrated a photographer’s technical abilities – were not uncommon. As one reviewer noted about the genre: ‘several instantaneous views of scenes, into which water in a state of motion enters, are highly artistic and effective.’1

1. 1885, 'New Guinea memorial volume', 'Sydney Morning Herald', 9 Feb p 4

© Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007


Details


Other Title

Surf on Coogee Bay five miles from Sydney


Date

circa 1880


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

albumen photograph


Dimensions

15.4 x 21.0 cm image/sheet


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program 1999


Location

Not on display


Accession number

150.1999


Artist information

Charles Bayliss

Works in the collection

83


Referenced in 1 publication

Bibliography


Steven Miller, Photography: Art Gallery of New South Wales Collection, 'In every house, and in every tent', pg.33-51, Sydney, 2007, 45 (illus.).