Skip to content

Update from the Gallery regarding COVID-19

The Art Gallery of New South Wales is open. We are observing strict physical distancing and hygiene measures to protect the health of visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Read the latest visit information




Australian art

View More:


Dry lagoon



J J Hilder


23 Jul 1881 - Apr 1916


J J Hilder was a noted watercolourist, greatly admired by his peers. Lionel Lindsay wrote a tribute following Hilder's premature death from consumption in 1916:

"Hilder’s is the romance of colour, and for him the eye is sole and final arbiter. His method was one of elimination. Like Cotman, [British watercolourist John Sell Cotman 1782-1842] he added nothing to nature, but he subtracted much ... within the limits of a few square inches of paper he is a master, commanding his vision with ease and delicacy, and, with a rare and individual mind, stating that vision in terms of originality and beauty".

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2001


Other Title

The dry lagoon



Media category


Materials used

pencil, watercolour on ivory wove paper


66.2 x 99.1 cm sheet; 92.5 x 123.3 x 4.7 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r., blue/grey watercolour, "J.J.HILDER/ 1911".


Purchased 1911


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

J J Hilder

Works in the collection


Shown in 13 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 22 publications


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

Art Gallery of South Australia, The Australian landscape, Adelaide, 1972. 30; titled 'The Dry Lagoon'

Douglas Dundas., The Etruscan, 'The watercolours of J.J. Hilder', Sydney, Sep 1959, 19 (colour illus.).

Anne Gray, Australia, 'Art nation: Australian landscape 1880-1920', pg. 146-183, London, 2013, 174 (colour illus.). 114

Anne Gray, Sydney Long: the spirit of the land, 'The mysterious Mr Long', pg. 15-41, Canberra, 2012, 21 (colour illus.).

Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Art of federation', pg. 174-185, Carlton, 2013, 184, 185 (colour illus.), 548, 562. plate no. 18.7

Brett Hilder and Lloyd Rees, The heritage of J. J. Hilder, Sydney, 1966. 180

Captain Brett Hilder., Jesse Jewhurst Hilder: anniversary exhibition, 'Introduction', Brisbane, 1966. 19; titled 'The Dry Lagoon'

Hendrik Kolenberg, Twentieth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1989. 32

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 11, 34 (colour illus.), 116. 21

Frances McCarthy, Ian North and Daniel Thomas AM, Australian landscape 1802-1975, 'The Australian Landscape', Adelaide, 1972. 30

Ewen McDonald, AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 22, 23 (colour illus.).

Ian North., Special exhibitions at the Art Gallery of South Australia: Seventh Adelaide Festival of Arts 1972, 'The Australian Landscape', Adelaide, 1972. 29

Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 112 (colour illus.). 61

Barry Pearce, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Introduction: Convergent Spirits', pg. 10-19, Sydney, 2002, 15, 77 (colour illus.), 144, 147.

Michael Preston, Arts Club, '"Early impressions have a 'helluvalot' to answer for"', pg. 23-25, London, Autumn 2001, 24 (illus.).

Ursula Prunster and Edmund Capon AM, OBE, J.J. Hilder and contemporaries, Sydney, 1981, (illus.). 9

Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'Introduction', pg. 16-22, Adelaide, 2001, 20, 21 (colour illus.), 154.

William Splatt and Susan Bruce, 100 masterpieces of Australian landscape painting, Melbourne, 1986, 144, 145 (colour illus.). plate no. 69

Daniel Thomas, Creating Australia: 200 years of art 1788-1988, 'Twentieth Century Art: Nature', pg.132, Melbourne, 1988, 132, 134 (colour illus.).

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 74 (colour illus.).

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 2002, 61 (colour illus.).