Born in Sydney in 1859, W Lister Lister's work was very popular in Australia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, winning the Wynne Prize seven times. Although recognised as an accomplished craftsman of large-scale works, Lister's contemporaries criticised the lack of emotion in his paintings. In spite of his conservatism, he was an ambitious painter who, like WC Piguenit before him, was greatly inspired by the scale and magnificence of the Australian landscape.
Following the award of the Wynne Prize in 1906, enthusiasm for this painting amongst members of the public and the Royal Art Society of NSW led a group of private individuals to organise its purchase and presentation to the Gallery as a gift.
This work was acquired by the Gallery in 1907.
oil on canvas
239.8 x 190.5 cm stretcher; 294 x 245.0 x 13.5 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed l.l., oil "W LISTER LISTER". Not dated.
Gift of public subscribers 1907
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Twentieth-seventh Annual Exhibition of the Royal Art Society of New South Wales (1906), Vickery's Galleries, Sydney, 26 Aug 1906–Sep 1906
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
Our country: Federation landscapes 1900-1914, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, 14 Sep 2001–18 Nov 2001
Referenced in 12 publications
Ian Burn, National life and landscape - Australian painting 1900-1940, 'Art versus Nature', pg. 38-51, Sydney, 1990, 26 (colour illus.), 27, 49. plate no. 14
Helen Campbell, Wynne centenary 1897-1997: a selection of past winners from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, (colour illus.).
Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 24 (illus.). cat.no. 18
Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. cat.no. 12 [Gallery No. 1]
Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'The symbolic landscape', pg. 60-92, Adelaide, 2001, 64, 65 (colour illus.), 72, 154.
The Crown Studios (Editor), The 100 best pictures of the Royal Art Society's Exhibition, 1906, Sydney, 1906, 7 (illus.).
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, '"The golden splendour of the bush". Presented to the Art Gallery', Sydney, 18 Jun 1907, page unknown.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'The golden splendour of the bush", Sydney, 09 Jul 1909, page unknown. Article concerning acquisition by AGNSW of work.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'The Wynne Art Prize'; 'Royal Art Society', Sydney, 14 Sep 1906, page unknown.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'Pictures and Painters: What the Art Gallery is doing', Sydney, 28 Aug 1906, page unknown.
Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'Royal Art Society. The annual show', Sydney, 25 Aug 1906, page unknown. Review of the Royal Art Society's 27th Annual show.
Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Royal Art Society. A strong exhibition', Sydney, 25 Aug 1906, page unknown. Review of the Royal Art Society's 27th Annual show.