Skip to content


An image of Summer by Hans Heysen

Hans Heysen

(Germany, Australia, France 08 Oct 1877 – 02 Jul 1968)

Media category
Materials used
pencil, watercolour on ivory wove paper

56.5 x 78.4 cm sheet; 95.5 x 117.8 x 5.5 cm frame

Signature & date
Signed and dated l.l. corner, brown watercolour "HANS HEYSEN 1909".
Purchased 1909
Accession number
© C Heysen
Not on display
Further information

'Summer' is one of the most popular works in the collection, a virtuoso performance in watercolour. The searing heat of summertime almost obliterates the hills in the distance and penetrates through the tall gum trees that offer the sheep below restful shade. Heysen's mastery of draughtsmanship provided a sure foundation for his watercolours that remain among the best of his generation.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

This painting won the Wynne Prize in 1909 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1909.

Bibliography (37)

Rebecca Andrews, Hans Heysen, 'Heroic gum trees', pg. 52-59, Adelaide, 2008, 58, 59 (colour illus.), 133 (colour illus.).

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 92 (colour illus.).

Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, Sydney, 1954, 26 (illus.). plate no. 26

Helen Campbell, Wynne centenary 1897-1997: a selection of past winners from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 5 (colour illus.).

Jean Campbell., Hemisphere, 'With a humble mind', Australian Capital Territory, Apr 1979, 41 (illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 25 (illus.). 19

Juliana Engberg (Curator), The Real Thing, Australia, 1997, cover (cover illus.), 56 (colour illus.), 85.

James Gleeson, Impressionist painters 1881-1930, St Kilda, 1971, 78 (colour illus.). plate no. 103

Anne Gray, The Cambridge companion to Australian Art, 'Australian artists within a wider world 1900-1930', pg. 84-96, Port Melbourne, 2011, 94, 95, 352. 7.13 (colour illus.), between pg. 108 and 109.

Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Art of federation', pg. 174-185, Carlton, 2013, 178 (colour illus.), 179, 548, 562. plate no. 18.2

Elioth Gruner (Organiser), Catalogue of an exhibition of the works of Australian artists, Sydney, 1923. not paginated, 134, Room VIII (Water Colours)

Elioth Gruner (Organiser), The exhibition of Australian art to be held at the galleries of the Royal Academy London, 1923, Sydney, 1923. not paginated, 52

Jeanette Hoorn, Australian pastoral: the making of a white landscape, Fremantle, 2007, 207 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Works on Paper', pg. 182-197, Sydney, 1999, 191 (colour illus.).

Joan Kerr, A singular voice: essays on Australian art and architecture, 'Other voices: More stories, 1988', pg. 116-125, Sydney, 2009, 122.

Lou Klepac, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Hans Heysen / Elioth Gruner / Horace Trennery', pg. 32-47, Sydney, 2002, 32 (colour illus.), 143, 147.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 16, 40 (colour illus.), 117. 29

Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 352 [Gallery No. 4]

Ewen McDonald, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 23 (colour illus.).

J.G. McIvor and S. McIntyre, Managing and conserving grassy woodlands, 'Understanding grassy woodland ecosystems', pg. 1-23, Collingwood, 2002, 2 (colour illus.). Figure 1.1

Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue: Selections by Barry Humphries

Barry Pearce, The Wynne prize: an Australian landscape tradition, 'Introduction', pg. 6-9, Sydney, 1986, 9, 16 (colour illus.), 25.

Laura Pia, Look, 'A landmark for the collection: Heysen's 'Summer' celebrates 100 years of popularity', pg. 34-35, Newtown, Oct 2009, 34 (colour illus.), 35.

Ursula Prunster and Edmund Capon, J.J. Hilder and contemporaries, Sydney, 1981, (illus.). 29

Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'The symbolic landscape', pg. 60-92, Adelaide, 2001, 69 (colour illus.), 70, 153.

Julie Roberts, Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 2), 'Seeing the light', pg. 222-231, North Ryde, Dec 1999-Feb 2000, 228.

Julie Roberts, Uncertain ground: essays between art + nature, 'The edge of the trees at the end of the millennium', pg. 125-141, Sydney, 1999, 134, 137.

Andrew Sayers, Australian art, Oxford, 2001, 209-210. Imants Tillers' "Untitled" 1978 has appropriated Heysen's "Summer".

Daniel Thomas, Australia, 'Elizabthan post-colonial 1950-2013', pg. 226- 288., London, 2013, 228.

Daniel Thomas, Arts Monthly, 'The art of summer', pg. 8, Adelaide, 02 Jan 1996, 8.

Laurie Thomas (Editor), Jubilee exhibition of Australian art, Sydney, 1951, 37. 84

Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 5, 9. 16

Vivienne Webb and Abigail Solomon-Godeau, The unquiet landscapes of Rosemary Laing, Sydney, 2005, 15 (colour illus.), 16.

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 90 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), Great Australian landscape paintings, Melbourne, 1973, (colour illus.). plate no. 30

Editor Unknown (Editor), The art of Hans Heysen, Sydney, 1920, (colour illus.). plate no. X

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, 'How one German-Australian saw the bush', Sydney, 10 Jul 1976, 33 (illus.).

Exhibition history (19)

Hans Heysen (1922), F W Preece, Adelaide, 07 Sep 1922–23 Sep 1922

Exhibition of Australian art (1923), Education Department Gallery [Loftus Street], Sydney, Jun 1923 -

Exhibition of Australian Art (1923), Burlington House, 06 Oct 1923–03 Nov 1923

British Empire Exhibition (1924), Empire Stadium, Wembley, 23 Apr 1924–Oct 1925

Hans Heysen (1926), Society of Artists, Sydney, 16 Nov 1926–27 Nov 1926

Loan exhibition of the works of Hans Heysen (1935), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 28 Mar 1935–26 May 1935

150 years of Australian art (1938), National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 27 Jan 1938–25 Apr 1938

Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836-1946, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 May 1946–Jun 1946

Jubilee exhibition of Australian art:

J.J. Hilder and Contemporaries:

Two centuries of Australian painting, a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Orange Regional Gallery, Australia, 19 Apr 1986–15 Jun 1986

The Wynne prize: an Australian landscape tradition (1987):

Hans Heysen watercolours and drawings (1988), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 23 Sep 1988–23 Oct 1988

Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:

The Real Thing, Museum of Modern Art at Heide, Bulleen, 08 Dec 1997–22 Feb 1998

Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from Australian collections (2000), S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, 15 Jan 2000–27 Feb 2000

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

Hans Heysen Retrospective (2008-2010):