Leith Valley, Dunedin

George O'Brien, Artist

This is one of the watercolours in our collection. It was made in Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand in circa 1870.
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About the Work
Like "Otago landscape" at Te Papa, "Leith Valley, Dunedin" is typical of O’Brien’s landscapes, and demonstrates the liberties he took to achieve an ideal view within the conventions of a classical landscape in the manner of Claude Lorrain, the seventeenth-century French landscape painter. The scene has been effortlessly manipulated to fit O’Brien’s favoured oval format. The foreground is highly detailed, the hills are sharply defined, and the sky consumes almost half the painting.
Within the context of colonial New Zealand, O’Brien’s work is most closely related to that of his Auckland contemporary, Alfred Sharpe. Both seem to share an affinity with the Pre-Raphaelite manifesto of truth to nature and an emphasis on brilliance of colour.
Adapted from - Rebecca Rice, Art at Te Papa (Te Papa Press, 2009).
Measurements
Image: H220 x W278mm
Media
watercolour on paper
Description
Tondo (circle) of a landscape framed by trees. A road curves past the foreground and stretches into the distance where there is a group of white houses.
Credit Line
Collection of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whaganui. Purchased with funds bequethed by Caroline Doris White, 1977.
Collection Type
Permanent collection
Acquisition Date
12 Dec 1977

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Accession Number:
1977/19/1