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Australian art

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Near the docks



Sali Herman

Switzerland, Australia

12 Feb 1898 - 03 Apr 1993


Having studied in Zurich and Paris, Swiss-born Sali Herman arrived in Melbourne in 1937 as a mature post-impressionist artist. This did not prevent his attendance at the George Bell School nor his development of an authentically Australian urban style in Sydney, the city he made his home from 1938. Associated with a circle of artists around Kings Cross, notably William Dobell and intermittently Russell Drysdale, Herman devoted much of his career to representations of inner city architecture and life. His streetscapes of Paddington, Darlinghurst, Woolloomooloo, Surry Hills and similarly venerable residential and light-industrial precincts form a catalogue of characteristic views comparable to those Maurice Utrillo made of Paris. Near the docks conveys the desultory, almost abandoned beauty of a down-at-heel neighbourhood - Herman's favourite motif.

Art Gallery Handbook 1999




Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas on hardboard


50.7 x 96.8 cm board; 73.2 x 118.4 x 7.5 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated l.r. corner, red oil "S.Herman.49".


Purchased 1949


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Sali Herman

Works in the collection


Shown in 10 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 9 publications


Dennis Colsey and Hal Missingham, One hundred years of Australian landscape painting: Art Gallery of New South Wales Travelling Art Exhibition 1968, Sydney, 1968, 23 (illus.). 26

Deborah Edwards, Two centuries of Australian painting: a selection from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Introduction', pg. 8-14, Sydney, 1986, 34 (illus.). 37

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian Collection: Painting and Sculpture', pg. 102-181, Sydney, 1999, 156 (colour illus.).

Brian Ladd, The Artist & the City, 'Introduction', pg. 4-5, Sydney, 1983, 5, 8 (colour illus.), 11-12. 21

Tony Lenten, City art, Victoria, 1978, 40 (illus.), 105 (colour illus.).

Barry Pearce, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Australian', pg. 13-35, Sydney, 1988, 27.

Barry Pearce, Sali Herman, Sydney, 1981, 52 (illus.). 38

Clive Turnbull, Jean Campbell and Daniel Thomas AM, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, Adelaide, 1962, 44. 127

The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. not paginated, 136