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Sentry-box Reach, Hawkesbury River, New South Wales



Julian Ashton

England, Australia

27 Jan 1851 - 27 Apr 1942


Ashton's watercolour was painted when he was a staff artist for 'The picturesque atlas of Australasia'; a position which allowed him to travel widely. The Hawkesbury soon became a favourite haunt for painting. He returned to it frequently with artist friends. This view of Sentry Box Reach is a classic example of nineteenth-century British watercolour technique – transparent washes of watercolour over barely perceptible pencil outlines, occasionally with some minor scraping out for highlights. It is a particularly convincing study of the expanse and conditions of the Hawkesbury landscape.

The work was exhibited in the Art Society of New South Wales annual exhibition, held at Sydney Town Hall, and which was open 19 April to 1 May 1888.


Other Titles

Sentry Box Reach [1948]

Scene on the Hawkesbury [1886]

Place where the work was made

Hawkesbury River Sydney New South Wales Australia



Media category


Materials used

pencil, watercolour, scraping out on paper


59.7 x 92.4 cm sheet; 85.2 x 121.0 x 9.3cm frame

Signature & date

Signed l.l., brown watercolour "J.R. ASHTON". Dated l.r., "1884".


Gift of Howard Hinton 1924


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Julian Ashton

Works in the collection


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 12 publications


'Baarmutha', Windsor and Richmond Gazette, 'Sentry Box Reach', pg. 5, Windsor, 09 Jan 1925, 5.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 2-3 (colour illus.), 8-9, 17 (colour illus.), 113. 1. The colour illustration on pages 2-3 is a detail of the image.

Lionel Lindsay, Howard Hinton memorial exhibition, 'Howard Hinton, OBE', pg. 2-3, Sydney, 1948, 10. 53; titled 'Sentry Box Reach'

Julian Ashton 1851-1942, Sydney, 1982, 4, 21 (illus.). not exhibited

A memorial volume to Howard Hinton patron of art, Sydney, 1951, 91 (colour illus.). 53

Riverside Plants of the Hawkesbury-Napean, Sydney, 1995, cover. PS Worksheet 400

The Sydney Morning Herald, 'The Art Society's exhibition', pg. 4, Sydney, 20 Apr 1886, 4. "Mr Julian R Ashton has a number of charming views taken on the Hawkesbury River, amongst the best being 'Webb's Creek' (227) and 'Sentrybox Mountain' (192)'.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Art exhibition', Sydney, 27 Oct 1884. page unknown

Illustrated Sydney news, 'The Art Society's exhibition', pg. 11, 16, Sydney, 15 May 1888, 16 (illus.). Line drawing by Arthur Collingridge of works in the Art Society of NSW exhibition, including Ashton's watercolour 'Scene on the Hawkesbury', 5.

Now came still evening on, Sydney, 1941, 51.

Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, Sydney, 1991. 4

Australian watercolours 1802-1926: in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 1991, 71 (illus.).