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A solitary ramble



Julian Ashton

England, Australia

27 Jan 1851 - 27 Apr 1942


Julian Ashton was particularly adept at conveying the open spaces and clear light of the Australian landscape in his watercolours, a medium well suited to painting 'on the spot'. 'A solitary ramble' is one of the best known watercolours in the collection. Its depiction of leisured, rural life in nineteenth century Australia reflects the growing sense of national pride that was evolving in colonial society, which formed an identity closely associated with the bush.

The female figure with a parasol is the artist's wife, shown in a lane behind Griffith's Orchard in Richmond, near Sydney, NSW.

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


Place where the work was made

Richmond Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

watercolour, opaque white highlights on paper


35.5 x 25.7 cm sheet; 58.2 x 46.6 x 2.3cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l., watercolour "J.R. ASHTON/ JUNE 1888".


Purchased 1888


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Julian Ashton

Works in the collection



Where the work was made

Shown in 17 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 32 publications


Christopher Allen, The Australian financial review, 'Worlds apart, the difference a century makes', pg. 43, Sydney, 09 Jun 2005, 43 (colour illus.).

Anne Gray, Sydney Long: the spirit of the land, 'The spirit of the land', pg. 45-70, Canberra, 2012, 62 (colour illus.), 126.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Works on Paper', pg. 182-197, Sydney, 1999, 188 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, 'Australian images from the past: whether rarely seen or familiar, these works move and delight us', pg. 24-27, Sydney, Apr 2005, 25.

Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, front dust jacket (colour illus., detail), 12, 88, 89 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg., Look, 'Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection', Heidelberg, Apr 1991.

Bernard Smith, 100 years of Australian painting, 'Foreword', pg. 2-4, Sydney, 1948, 13. watercolours 6

Julian Ashton: essay on the artist (Volume I), Canberra, 1981, 47 (illus.). NOTE: this is a boxed two-volume set

Australian images: Prints, drawings and watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1979, 1.

Ladies in Landscapes, Ballarat, 1974, (illus.). 1; sepia toned reproduction

200 Years of Australian painting, Rushcutters Bay, 1971, 15 (colour illus.).

Impressionist painters 1881-1930, St Kilda, 1971, 21 (colour illus.).

A gallery of Australian art, Sydney, 1954, (illus.). plate no. 11

Jubilee exhibition of Australian art, Sydney, 1951, 33. 65

A study of Australian art, Sydney, 1949, (illus.). plate no. 30

Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 4, 8. 5

Art of Australia 1788-1941, New York, 1941, 32, 70 (illus.). 31

Art in Australia [series 3, no. 70], Sydney, Mar 1938, 29 (colour illus.).

150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 321

Place, taste and tradition: a study of Australian art since 1788, 'Impressionism in Australia', pg. 112-145, South Melbourne, 1979, 136, 138 (illus.). plate no. 49

Catalogue: British Empire Exhibition (Wembley) 1924, 1924, 95. no catalogue numbers; Lent by the Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales

Catalogue of an exhibition of the works of Australian artists, Sydney, 1923. 118, Room VIII (Water Colours); not paginated

The exhibition of Australian art to be held at the galleries of the Royal Academy London, 1923, Sydney, 1923. 7; not paginated

The Julian Ashton book, Sydney, 1920, (colour illus.).

The Julian Ashton exhibition, Sydney, 1920. 126

Art Society of New South Wales Ninth Annual Exhibition Catalogue, Sydney, Sep 1888. 22

A Salute to Watercolour, Tasmania, 1996, 31.

Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, Sydney, 1995, 18 (colour illus.), 19, 113-114. plate no. 2

Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 96 (colour illus.). 51

Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1991. 3

Australian painting 1788-1990, South Melbourne, 1991, 72 (colour illus.).

Julian Ashton 1851-1942, Sydney, 1982, 2 (illus.), 4, 13. 26