Skip to content


An image of Study for 'The moonrise sharpshooter' by James Gleeson

James Gleeson

(Australia 21 Nov 1915 – 20 Oct 2008)

Study for 'The moonrise sharpshooter'
Media category
Materials used
charcoal on white wove paper

37.9 x 51.0 cm sheet

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l., charcoal "Gleeson 15.8.85".
Gift of the artist 2001
Accession number
© Gleeson/O'Keefe Foundation
Not on display
Further information

This atmospheric drawing with a full moon, again reveals Gleeson's indebtedness to J M W Turner (British 1775-1851). Gleeson studied Turner's work closely in London in the early 1970s.

To the left of the composition is a reclining marksman aiming a rifle in the direction of the moon. The inclusion of a figure recalls Gleeson's approach in the 1960s which placed hyper-real male nudes in similarly imaginary landscapes (e.g. 'Crater with revenant' 1966). In the 1960s however, Gleeson's landscapes were the product of decalcomania, a surrealist technique pioneered by Max Ernst and others in which images are created by pressing paint between surfaces. On the other hand, his late landscapes are based on preparatory drawings, rather than relying on chance effects.

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, 'James Gleeson: drawings for paintings', Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003, pg. 88.

Bibliography (1)

Hendrik Kolenberg and Anne Ryan, James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Sydney, 2003, 88 (colour illus.). 36

Exhibition history (1)

James Gleeson: drawings for paintings, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 12 Apr 2003–15 Jun 2003