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W.C. PIGUENIT, Near Liverpool, New South Wales REDUCE 1/1


Hobart, Tasmania, Australia 1836 – Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia 1914

  • Movements: England 1898, 1900

Near Liverpool, New South Wales c.1908 oil on canvas oil on canvas
74.2 h x 125.0 w cm
Acquired with the assistance of the Masterpieces for the Nation Fund 2005
Accession No: NGA 2005.219

  • W.C. Piguenit was a Romantic realist, inspired by a love of the countryside where he lived, first in Tasmania and then regional New South Wales. At the time of Federation, Piguenit was the most senior professional landscape painter in Australia, recognised for a career that straddles the colonial and Federation periods in style and subject matter.

    Piguenit’s first response to the momentous act of Federation was a grand picture of the nation’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko. Over subsequent years, he turned his attention towards the fertile plains around the Sydney region, and the atmospheric effects of Australian light and weather.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2013
    From: Miriam kelly, Capital & Country: The Federation Years 1900 – 1913, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2013

  • W C Piguenit was the first locally born and trained landscape painter. Known for his majestic landscapes, Piguenit’s works straddle the late colonial and Federation landscape painting periods. Born in convict Hobart, he spent his early career in Tasmania where he accompanied several expeditions into the Tasmanian wilderness; in 1880
    he settled permanently in Sydney.

    Near Liverpool, New South Wales is a panoramic view of the Liverpool Plains with a herd of cattle grazing on the side of a track. The glowing greens of the grasses heightened by bright touches of yellow flowers emphasise the lushness of the countryside, while the stand of gum trees in the middle distance identifies this scene as Australian. Characteristically, Piguenit adopted a low vantage point, emphasising the meeting of earth and sky. His masterful depiction of the billowing clouds provides a dramatic counterpoint to the peaceful scene below.

    While in his earlier works Piguenit emphasised the grandeur of the wilderness, in his later paintings, such as Near Liverpool, New South Wales, he was increasingly concerned with depicting atmospheric effects and the changing aspects of light during different seasons and at different times of day.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
    From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008