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Title

A billabong of the Goulburn, Victoria

1884


Artist

Henry James Johnstone

England, Australia

1835 - 1907


About

The discovery of gold drew HJ Johnstone to Melbourne in 1853, but after prospecting unsuccessfully he established Melbourne's leading photographic studio in 1864. Having studied art as a young man in England, in 1867 Johnstone joined Louis Buvelot's painting school, and in 1871 was one of the first members of the newly formed Victorian Academy of the Arts.

After his return to London in 1880, Johnstone produced a number of Australian landscapes from his black-and-white photographs, including 'A billabong of the Goulburn, Victoria'. This painting's tranquil and timeless landscape evokes a sense of nostalgia and melancholy. The unearthly stillness of the scene reflects the camera's ability to freeze time, and the artist's precision and attention to detail.


Details


Date

1884


Media category

Painting


Materials used

oil on canvas


Dimensions

127.0 x 183.0 cm


Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., oil "H. J. Johnstone 1884".


Credit

Purchased 1885


Accession number

5771


Artist information

Henry James Johnstone

Works in the collection

1


Referenced in 12 publications

Bibliography


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 74 (colour illus.).

Sarah Couper, Look, 'A place where storie are found', pg. 34-35, Sydney, Jun 2015, 35.

Anne Gray, Sydney Long: the spirit of the land, 'The mysterious Mr Long', pg. 15-41, Canberra, 2012, 16 (colour illus.).

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1884, Sydney, 1884. cat.no. 99, Oil Paintings, titled 'A Billabong of the Goulburn - Victoria'

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1891, Sydney, 1891, 7 (illus.). cat.no. 13, Oil Paintings

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1888, Sydney, 1888, 19 (illus.). cat.no. 28, Oil Paintings

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1886, Sydney, 1886. cat.no. 26, Oil Paintings

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1899, Sydney, 1899. cat.no. 271, Oil Paintings-Australian, titled 'A Billabong on the Goulburn River, Victoria'

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Catalogue of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1893, Sydney, 1893. cat.no. 13, Oil Paintings

Diedrith Newkomer., Illustrated Sydney news, 'Sydney Art Gallery', Sydney, 20 May 1887, page unknown.

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 16.

Bernard William Smith, A catalogue of Australian oil paintings in the National Art Gallery of New South Wales 1875-1952, Sydney, 1953, 101.