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Australian art

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Sydney Heads (2)



Margaret Preston

Australia, England, France

29 Apr 1875 - 28 May 1963


Preston printed only the structural design of this image in black ink from a carved block, then applied the colour by hand to the resulting print, with gouache. This is one of relatively few landscape images made by her and of an even smaller number that celebrate the seductive colour and natural beauty of the harbour.


Other Title

Sydney Heads



Media category


Materials used

woodcut, printed in black ink, hand coloured with gouache on thin ivory laid tissue


14th proof from an edition of 50, hand coloured


25.1 x 18.1 cm blockmark; 34.4 x 24.3 cm sheet (irreg.)

Signature & date

Signed in block to print l.l., incised "PM".
Signed l.r. beneath blockmark, pencil "Margaret Preston". Dated l.l. beneath blockmark, pencil "... 25".


Gift of Mrs Alison Brown 1968


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Margaret Preston

Artist profile

Works in the collection


Shown in 12 exhibitions

Exhibition history

Referenced in 12 publications


Michaela Boland., Weekend Australian, 'Master cards', pg. 9, Sydney, 07 Sep 2013, 9.

Elizabeth Butel, Margaret Preston: the art of constant rearrangement, Ringwood, 1985, 29, 31 (colour illus.), 87. P.12; titled 'Sydney Heads'

Roger Arthur Butler, The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 1987, 104 (colour illus.).

Roger Arthur Butler, The prints of Margaret Preston: a catalogue raisonné, Canberra, 2005, 17, 116 (colour illus.). 81

Helen Campbell, Colour, rhythm, design: wood & lino cuts of the 20s & 30s, 'Introduction', pg. 2, Sydney, 2010, 7 (colour illus.).

Katrina Cashman., Margaret Preston in Mosman, 'Margaret Preston in Mosman', Mosman, 2002, (colour illus.). not paginated; no catalogue numbers

Deborah Edwards, Australian art: in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 'Moderns', pg. 103-104, Sydney, 2000, 120 (colour illus.), 301.

Deborah Edwards, Margaret Preston, 'Transitions 1920s', pg. 61-150, Sydney, 2005, 83 (colour illus.).

Denise Mimmocchi, Sydney moderns: art for a new world, 'Making Sydney modern: the artistic shaping of the postwar city', pg. 67-85, Sydney, 2013, 74, 162 (colour illus.), 218, 315, 323.

Louise Tegart (Editor), Slow burn: A century of Australian women artists from a private collection, Sydney, 2010, 12, 14 (colour illus.). NOTE: this is not the AGNSW impression

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

Kay Vernon, Harbour hymns, city songs: visions of Sydney from the collection, Sydney, 1990. 102