J J Hilder's watercolours had broad appeal to Australian taste in the early 20th century. He produced a significant body of watercolours that offer a romantic and intimate glimpse of the Australian landscape. The majority of his subjects were taken from the environs of Sydney. His career lasted just a decade, cut short by his premature death in 1916, but by this time his work was lauded by the art world; his work was the subject of the first significant monograph on an Australian artist (Sydney Ure Smith 'The art of J J Hilder' Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1918), and fifteen watercolours alone were gifted to the AGNSW by Howard Hinton in the year following Hilder's death.
This watercolour is closely related to another version in the AGSA collection ('The fishermen' 1909, 25.8 x 28.1 cm), purchased in 1942, however, it is a larger version painted, with some alterations, three years later.
© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2003
Boys Fishing (The Compleat Anglers)
pencil, watercolour on paper
45.5 x 55.7 cm sight
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r., blue watercolour "J. J. HILDER/ 1912".
Gift of Robert O Albert 2003
Not on display
Referenced in 4 publications
Captain Brett Hilder., Jesse Jewhurst Hilder: anniversary exhibition, 'Introduction', Brisbane, 1966. cat.no. 27; titled 'Boys Fishing (The Compleat Anglers)'; Collection of Mr Bim Hilder.
Lloyd Rees, The heritage of J. J. Hilder, Sydney, 1966, (illus.). plate no. III
Anne Ryan., Foundation Newsletter #2, 'Australian PDW Benefactors', Sydney, May 2003, (colour illus.).
Australian art: colonial to modern, Sydney, 1986, (illus.). cat.no. 57