We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of NSW stands.


Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore



Conrad Martens

England, Australia

21 Mar 1801 – 21 Aug 1878

Artist profile

  • Details

    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil, watercolour, opaque white
    31.5 x 47.5 cm sight
    Signature & date

    Signed and dated l.r., watercolour "C Martens. 1836".

    Gift of the Corry Family 1946
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Conrad Martens

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Captivated by the beauty of Sydney from his arrival in 1835, British-born artist Conrad Martens continuously depicted the city’s sparkling waterways between then and his death in 1878.

    The sketchy watercolour impression of 'Fort Macquarie, Bennelong Point, from the North Shore' captures gently rippling water and the warmth of Sydney light with Fort Macquarie visible across the Harbour. Completed in 1821, Fort Macquarie was built on Bennelong Point, named after senior Wangal man Woollarawarre Bennelong (c1764–1813) who lived on the rocky outcrop in the 1790s. Bennelong Point is known to Gadigal people as Tubowgule and is the present-day location of the Sydney Opera House.

    Martens fulfilled many commissions, capturing the landscape for the colonial elite. His painting of Gurrajin / Elizabeth Bay features the grand neoclassical edifice of Elizabeth Bay House encircled by twisted gum trees and lush vegetation. In 1876, late in life, he recorded a sweeping view of Middle Harbour looking out from the rugged and forested shoreline.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 3 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

Other works by Conrad Martens

See all 37 works