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
Shown in 3 exhibitions
J.J. Hilder memorial exhibition (1916), Society of Artists, Sydney, 14 Jul 1916 -
Jesse Jewhurst Hilder anniversary exhibition (1966-1967):
- Queensland Art Gallery, South Brisbane 21 Apr 1966–15 May 1966
- City Hall, Toowoomba, Toowoomba 23 May 1966–29 May 1966
- Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle 09 Jun 1966–03 Jul 1966
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 14 Jul 1966–07 Aug 1966
- Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston, Launceston 18 Aug 1966–11 Sep 1966
- National Gallery of Victoria [Swanston Street], Melbourne 22 Sep 1966–23 Oct 1966
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 09 Nov 1966–04 Dec 1966
- Canberra Theatre Centre, Canberra 15 Dec 1966–08 Jan 1967
- National Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 19 Jan 1967–12 Feb 1967
- Western Australian Art Gallery, Perth 23 Feb 1967–19 Mar 1967
Australian Art: colonial to modern:
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.).
Unknown, Australian art: colonial to modern, Sydney, 1986, (illus.). cat.no. 57