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Australian art

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The bullock team



Frank Mahony

Australia, England

1862 - 28 Jun 1916


When it was first exhibited in the Gallery's 1891 Watercolour Competition a 'Sydney Herald' reviewer described this watercolour as:

'A very noticable picture, perhaps a little too highly coloured to meet with the trustees' approval ... and as ... one of the few subjects illustrative of the industrial side of Australian life. The scene is a characteristic one. The team has halted, and the teamsters are preparing a meal. The picture wants tone, but the idea is excellent, and the execution vigorous and true. The bullocks are life-like and their attitudes faithful and natural, the grouping is characteristic, and the detail, like that in the abraded tree-trunk in the foreground, has all been carefully put in. The picture illustrates a side of the timber trade, which is one of those features of pioneer enterprise which our artists might more generally study with a view to their preservation.'

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




Media category


Materials used

watercolour, gum


59.5 x 76.1 cm sheet; 56.5 x 74.1 cm sight edge; 86.5 x 104.1 x 5.8 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, brown watercolour "FRANK P MAHONY/ 1891".


Purchased 1920


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Frank Mahony

Works in the collection


Shown in 6 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 14 publications


Julian Ashton, Now came still evening on, Sydney, 1941, 98.

Leigh Astbury, Sunlight and shadow: Australian impressionist painters 1880-1900, Rushcutters Bay, 1989, 182 (colour illus.). plate no. 134

Jean Campbell, Australian watercolour painters: 1780 to the present day, 'The 1880s and 1890s: Victoria and New South Wales', pg. 62-81, Sydney, 1989, 69 (colour illus.).

Jean Campbell, Australian watercolour painters 1780-1980, Adelaide, 1983, 69 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, 'Introduction', pg. 6-16, Sydney, 2005, 12, 98, 99 (colour illus.).

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, Sydney, 1995, 23 (colour illus.), 114. 8

Hendrik Kolenberg., Nineteenth century Australian watercolours from the collection, 'Introduction', Sydney, 1991. not paginated, 42

Hendrik Kolenberg, Look, '19th century Australian watercolours from the collection', Heidelberg, Apr 1991, cover (colour illus.).

National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Loan exhibition: to inaugurate the first completed portion of the gallery, on Her Majesty's birthday, 24th May 1897, Sydney, 1897. 365

Barry Pearce and Haruo Arikawa, Two hundred years of Australian painting: nature, people and art in the southern continent, Tokyo, 1992, 98 (colour illus.). 53

Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 4, 9. 11

Editor Unknown (Editor), Daily telegraph, 'National Art Gallery, the water-colour competition', Sydney, 02 Dec 1892, page unknown. see AGNSW Press Clippings 1884-1896, pg. 80a

Editor Unknown (Editor), The Sydney Morning Herald, 'An exhibition of watercolours', Sydney, 01 Dec 1891. A review of the Watercolour Competition held at the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, November-December 1891; refered to as 'A spell on the road'

Editor Unknown (Editor), Illustrated Sydney News, 'Round about the studios', pg. 5, Sydney, 30 Aug 1890, 5.