We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.

Title

Surf, Coogee, Sydney

circa 1880

Artist

Charles Bayliss

England, Australia

1850 - 1897

  • Details

    Other Title
    Surf on Coogee Bay five miles from Sydney
    Date
    circa 1880
    Media category
    Photograph
    Materials used
    albumen photograph
    Dimensions
    15.4 x 21.0 cm image/sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Credit
    Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors' Program 1999
    Location
    Not on display
    Accession number
    150.1999
    Copyright

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Charles Bayliss

    Works in the collection

    83

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  • About

    In 1876 the poet Henry Kendall wrote about ‘wave-worn Coogee’, celebrating the wildness of the place: ‘jags and points disrupted, gaps and fractures fringed with light.’ Kendall’s picture of the turbulent coast of Coogee is in sharp contrast to the sun-filled and cheery beachscapes which Tom Roberts and Charles Conder painted there. Bayliss may have been familiar with Kendall’s verse, although the poetic notion of the ‘ever-restless sea’ was well established in 19th-century verse and art. The AGNSW acquired their painting of this title by W Lister Lister in 1892. Poetic and romantic allusions aside, photographs of the sea – ‘instantaneous’ photographs which demonstrated a photographer’s technical abilities – were not uncommon. As one reviewer noted about the genre: ‘several instantaneous views of scenes, into which water in a state of motion enters, are highly artistic and effective.’1

    1. 1885, 'New Guinea memorial volume', 'Sydney Morning Herald', 9 Feb p 4

    © Art Gallery of New South Wales Photography Collection Handbook, 2007

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 1 publication

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