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Australian art

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Miller's Point

(circa 1952)


John Passmore


04 Feb 1904 - 09 Oct 1984


Passmore had an extraordinary impact on the development of art in Sydney following his return from Europe in 1951. At the Julian Ashton Art School he taught John Olsen and William Rose among others.

His art at this time closely identified with the city and its spectacular harbour. He painted directly from the motif from his studio in the school, located above the Mining Museum in George Street, and which afforded views of the Harbour across Miller's Point. Works painted at this time tended towards an analysis of the effects of atmosphere, capturing the mass of cloud, water and trees and exemplifying his skillful sense of tone in colour and masterly handling of paint.

Censuring superficial comparison made between Passmore and Cézanne, Robert Hughes, commenting upon another work depicting the same motif, 'Miller's Point, Morning', also in the Gallery's collection, wrote in 1966:
"'Miller's Point, Morning' does not give us a world of structure, nor do we feel that we are looking at the harbour from a fixed point. The landscape is seen, as it were, from the centre. There is nothing soft or indecisive about the play of its forms. Yet they do not add up to a cumulative structure. They confront us with a world of subtly differing resistances."

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 2000



(circa 1952)

Media category


Materials used

oil on hardboard


44.5 x 59.5 cm board; 54.0 x 64.0 cm sight; 71.8 x 81.8 x 2.8 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, blue oil "J PASSMORE 5[1?]".


Anonymous gift 1987


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

John Passmore

Works in the collection


Shown in 3 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 1 publication


The Brett Whiteley Studio (Editor), Big blue: the painted harbour (list of works), Sydney, 1997.