In May 1936, Rita Angus took the three-hour train journey from Christchurch to the Canterbury College Mountain Biological Station at Cass. She was accompanied by painters Louise Henderson and Julia Scarvell.
Cass sits on tussocked plains at the base of Kā Tiritiri o te Moana – the Southern Alps. In the 1930s it was a favourite spot for Christchurch artists. The three women spent 10 days there, sketching and tramping. After Angus’s return to Christchurch she produced some of her best-known works, including the oil painting 'Cass', now in Christchurch Art Gallery's collection.

An abandoned musterer’s cottage gives a sense of human scale in this vast scene. Landscape and sky are reduced to clean, dynamic forms and the work is alive with movement and power.


  • Title: Mountains, Cass
  • Creator: Rita Angus
  • Date Created: 1936
  • Physical Dimensions: w350 x h284mm
  • Type: Painting
  • External Link: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Cass, Christchurch Art Gallery
  • Medium: Watercolour
  • Depicted Location: Cass, Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Credit Line: Purchased 1977 with Mary Buick Bequest funds. © Reproduced courtesy of the Estate of Rita Angus
  • Collection: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

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