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Australian art

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Hans Heysen

Germany, Australia, France

08 Oct 1877 - 02 Jul 1968


'Summer' is one of the most popular works in the collection, a virtuoso performance in watercolour. The searing heat of summertime almost obliterates the hills in the distance and penetrates through the tall gum trees that offer the sheep below restful shade. Heysen's mastery of draughtsmanship provided a sure foundation for his watercolours that remain among the best of his generation.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000

This painting won the Wynne Prize in 1909 and was acquired by the Gallery in 1909.

From the Gallery Shop

Magnet : Hans Heysen Summer

8.0cm wide x 5.5cm high





Media category


Materials used

pencil, watercolour on ivory wove paper


56.5 x 78.4 cm sheet; 95.3 x 117.8 x 5.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.l. corner, brown watercolour "HANS HEYSEN 1909".


Purchased 1909


Not on display

Accession number


Wynne Prize

Winner - 1909

Artist information

Hans Heysen

Works in the collection


Shown in 20 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 38 publications


Rebecca Andrews, Hans Heysen, 'Heroic gum trees', pg. 52-59, Adelaide, 2008, 58, 59 (colour illus.), 133 (colour illus.).

Ann Elias, Sydney College of the Arts, Useless beauty: Flowers and Australian art, United Kingdom, 2015, 64, 238, plate 21 (colour illus.).

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Sydney, 1972, 92 (colour illus.).

Herbert Badham, A gallery of Australian art, Sydney, 1954, 26 (illus.). plate no. 26

Helen Campbell, Wynne centenary 1897-1997: a selection of past winners from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 1997, 5 (colour illus.).

Jean Campbell., Hemisphere, 'With a humble mind', Australian Capital Territory, Apr 1979, 41 (illus.).

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 25 (illus.). 19

Juliana Engberg (Curator), The Real Thing, Australia, 1997, cover (cover illus.), 56 (colour illus.), 85.

James Gleeson, Impressionist painters 1881-1930, St Kilda, 1971, 78 (colour illus.). plate no. 103

Anne Gray, The Cambridge companion to Australian Art, 'Australian artists within a wider world 1900-1930', pg. 84-96, Port Melbourne, 2011, 94, 95, 352. 7.13 (colour illus.), between pg. 108 and 109.

Sasha Grishin, Australian art: a history, 'Art of federation', pg. 174-185, Carlton, 2013, 178 (colour illus.), 179, 548, 562. plate no. 18.2

Elioth Gruner (Organiser), The exhibition of Australian art to be held at the galleries of the Royal Academy London, 1923, Sydney, 1923. not paginated, 52

Elioth Gruner (Organiser), Catalogue of an exhibition of the works of Australian artists, Sydney, 1923. not paginated, 134, Room VIII (Water Colours)

Jeanette Hoorn, Australian pastoral: the making of a white landscape, Fremantle, 2007, 207 (colour illus.).

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Works on Paper', pg. 182-197, Sydney, 1999, 191 (colour illus.).

Joan Kerr, A singular voice: essays on Australian art and architecture, 'Other voices: More stories, 1988', pg. 116-125, Sydney, 2009, 122.

Lou Klepac, Parallel visions: works from the Australian collection, 'Hans Heysen / Elioth Gruner / Horace Trennery', pg. 32-47, Sydney, 2002, 32 (colour illus.), 143, 147.

Hendrik Kolenberg, Australian watercolours 1880s to 1990s, 'Introduction: Painting in watercolour', pg. 8-16, Sydney, 1995, 16, 40 (colour illus.), 117. 29

Lionel Lindsay, 150 years of Australian art, Sydney, 1938. 352 [Gallery No. 4]

Ewen McDonald, AGNSW Collections, 'From Colonialism to late Modernism', pg. 7-106, Sydney, 1994, 23 (colour illus.).

J.G. McIvor and S. McIntyre, Managing and conserving grassy woodlands, 'Understanding grassy woodland ecosystems', pg. 1-23, Collingwood, 2002, 2 (colour illus.). Figure 1.1

Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries, Favourites: Margaret Olley and Barry Humphries choose from public and private collections, Sydney, 2000. Catalogue entry appears in inserted list to printed catalogue: Selections by Barry Humphries

Barry Pearce, The Wynne prize: an Australian landscape tradition, 'Introduction', pg. 6-9, Sydney, 1986, 9, 16 (colour illus.), 25.

Laura Pia, Look, 'A landmark for the collection: Heysen's 'Summer' celebrates 100 years of popularity', pg. 34-35, Sydney, Oct 2009, 34 (colour illus.), 35.

Ursula Prunster and Edmund Capon AM, OBE, J.J. Hilder and contemporaries, Sydney, 1981, (illus.). 29

Ron Radford, Our country: Australian Federation landscape 1900-1914, 'The symbolic landscape', pg. 60-92, Adelaide, 2001, 69 (colour illus.), 70, 153.

Julie Roberts, Uncertain ground: essays between art + nature, 'The edge of the trees at the end of the millennium', pg. 125-141, Sydney, 1999, 134, 137.

Julie Roberts, Art and Australia (Vol. 37, No. 2), 'Seeing the light', pg. 222-231, Sydney, Dec 1999-Feb 2000, 228.

Andrew Sayers, Australian art, Oxford, 2001, 209-210. Imants Tillers' "Untitled" 1978 has appropriated Heysen's "Summer".

Daniel Thomas, Australia, 'Elizabthan post-colonial 1950-2013', pg. 226- 288., London, 2013, 228.

Daniel Thomas, Arts Monthly, 'The art of summer', pg. 8, Adelaide, 02 Jan 1996, 8.

Laurie Thomas (Editor), Jubilee exhibition of Australian art, Sydney, 1951, 37. 84

Trustees of the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australian watercolours from the National Art Gallery collection 1836 to 1946, Sydney, 1946, 5, 9. 16

Vivienne Webb and Abigail Solomon-Godeau, The unquiet landscapes of Rosemary Laing, Sydney, 2005, 15 (colour illus.), 16.

Donald Williams, In our own image: the story of Australian art, Sydney, 1995, 90 (colour illus.).

Editor Unknown (Editor), The art of Hans Heysen, Sydney, 1920, (colour illus.). plate no. X

Editor Unknown (Editor), Great Australian landscape paintings, Melbourne, 1973, (colour illus.). plate no. 30

Editor Unknown (Editor), Bulletin, 'How one German-Australian saw the bush', Sydney, 10 Jul 1976, 33 (illus.).