Hamilton Gallery

J.J. Hilder (1881-1916)
R.G.L. and M.L. Taylor Bequest 1998


21 January – 24 February

Hamilton Gallery holds watercolours from the 18th century onwards but this exhibition focuses on the watercolours from Australia’s golden era of watercolour painting of the 1930s.

The varied collection of Australian watercolours held at the Gallery features paintings by many of the major exponents of watercolour in Australia over the last two centuries. There are classic works by J.J Hilder, Arthur Streeton, Louis Buvelot, Arthur Boyd, Hans Heysen, Norman Lindsay and Napier Waller to name just some of the best known.

A watercolour ‘Wannon Falls’ by Louis Buvelot was one of the notable works purchased by the Gallery to mark its extensions back in 1971. The watercolour painted in 1867 reveals Buvelot’s close observation of the Australian light and atmosphere while also detailing the popular local scene using this beautiful but testy and difficult medium.

This important acquisition built on the Gallery’s modest Australian Watercolour collection established through works acquired by the generosity of the Herbert and May Shaw bequest and other generous donors. From these simple beginnings significant gifts and purchases have led to the Gallery’s current collection to over 300 Australian watercolours.

Watercolour is historically the world’s oldest painting medium. Yet, it remains one of the most vital and popular mediums for both for artist and the viewing public. Watercolour painting has a long and glorious tradition in both Eastern and Western cultures, and has been practised in Australia since the earliest days of European settlement. It continues to be much loved by artists today.