The Bluff, Middle Harbour, Sydney
Australia, England, New Zealand
15 Nov 1863 - 1896
Robert Atkinson studied in London and Antwerp before moving to New Zealand, then in 1885 to Australia. Like many other artists, he worked as an illustrator on various publications, including 'The Bulletin'. He spent about five years in Sydney, exhibiting with the Art Society of NSW, and was a resident of the artists' camp at Edwards Beach near Balmoral, the site of several of his best known works. 'The Bluff, Middle Harbour', painted from the headland north of the artists' camp, was bought by the Gallery in the year that it was painted, also the year Atkinson returned to England.
excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005
The Bluff, Middle Harbour
pencil, watercolour, chinese white highlights
75.2 x 55.9 cm sheet; frame 109.5 x 88.0 x 4.0 cm
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, pale blue watercolour "R ATKINSON 1889".
Not on display
Where the work was made
Shown in 7 exhibitions
Autumn Exhibition: watercolours and black & white drawings (1889), Union Chambers, 30 Mar 1889 -
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
Sydney Harbour: an exhibition to mark the 175th anniversary of the founding of Australia (1963), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Oct 1963–19 Nov 1963
Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection (1991), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Apr 1991–07 Jul 1991
Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s:
19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 06 Apr 2005–24 Jul 2005
Referenced in 9 publications
Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 10, 20, 21 (colour illus.), 114. cat.no. 5
Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 12, 92, 93 (colour illus.).
Daniel Thomas., Sydney Harbour, ‘Introduction', Sydney, 1963. cat.no. 22; titled 'The Bluff, Middle Harbour'
Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 4, 8. cat.no. 6
Bohemians in the bush: the artists' camps of Mosman, Sydney, 1991, 44.
Fifty years of Australian art 1879-1929, New South Wales, 1929, 80 (illus.).
Art Society of New South Wales Autumn Exhibition Catalogue (1889), Sydney, 1889, 25 (illus.). cat.no. 83; titled 'Bluff at the entrance to Middle harbour'
Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1991. cat.no. 7
150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. not paginated, cat.no. 392 [Gallery No. 4]