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Deviation work

(circa 1913)


J J Hilder


23 Jul 1881 – Apr 1916

  • Details

    Other Title
    The deviation work
    (circa 1913)
    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil, watercolour
    65.0 x 52.0 cm sight
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. corner, ?black watercolour "J.J. Hilder". Not dated.

    Bequest of Julius Wilfred (Wilf) Hilder 2011
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    J J Hilder

    Works in the collection


  • About

    J J Hilder was the most admired of all early 20th century Australian watercolourists who died very young of tuberculosis in 1916. 'Deviation work' is one of the biggest, most restrained and reductive of his watercolours, a poetic distillation of the qualities that set Hilder apart from his contemporaries and his many followers – painted in delicate, fluid and shimmering washes of watercolour, spare and original in composition. The subject is the Lithgow entrance (portal) to tunnel number 9, one of the deviations of the Zig-Zag railway line in the Blue Mountains during construction in 1913. There is another watercolour in a private collection by Hilder of the same railway tunnel from ground level.

    The elevated view of the tunnel in strong sunlight in 'Deviation work' accentuates its abstract and poetic qualities, rather like Arthur Streeton's Fire's on (painting & watercolour), where incident is secondary to the intense midday summer light and its daring design.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by J J Hilder

See all 34 works