View of the Heads, Port Jackson

Conrad Martens1853

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales

From his arrival in Sydney in 1835 until his death in 1878, Conrad Martens managed to support himself as a full-time professional artist and was best known for atmospheric views of Sydney Harbour. 'View of the heads, Port Jackson' 1853 is a powerful depiction of a 'sublime' natural phenomenon; Martens was interested in depicting the effects of weather, and took an analytical approach to compositions and colour resulting in highly subjective, romantic representations of the landscape. He included a dramatic shaft of sunlight in this watercolour for focus, something he acknowleged was a 'favourite effect' of Claude and Turner, two masters of landscape painting whom he greatly admired.

© Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2000

Show lessRead more


  • Title: View of the Heads, Port Jackson
  • Creator: Conrad Martens
  • Date Created: 1853
  • Physical Dimensions: 54.2 x 76.2 cm sheet; 71.5 x 93.2 x 7.0 cm frame
  • Type: Watercolour
  • Rights: Purchased with assistance from Overseas Containers Australia Ltd 1986
  • Medium: watercolour, gouache, gum, scraping out on paper
  • Signature & Date: Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown watercolour "C. Martens./ 1853".
  • Artist Country: Australia


Translate with Google